Dalit human rights defenders from India, Nepal and Bangladesh voiced their concerns about effective political participation of Dalit women at the 4th session of the UN Forum on Minority Issues. The thematic focus of the session, which was held in Geneva on 29-30 November 2011, was “Guaranteeing the rights of minority women”.
The UN Committee on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) examined Nepal on 20 July, and recommended the Government to take specific measures to increase the “very low” political representation of Dalit and indigenous women at national and local level.
The National Conference of Dalit Women organised by the Feminist Dalit Organisation (FEDO) took place in Kathmandu from the 11-13th May. The conference brought together Dalit women activists from 75 districts of Nepal; Human Rights activists, constitutional assembly members, researchers, representatives from UN and bilateral agencies and I/NGOs, members of the media; and international delegates from, India, Bangladesh, UK, Sweden, Hongkong, and Denmark.
Multinational clothing brands are sourcing from cotton spinning mills in Tamil Nadu that exploit teenage girls, subjecting them to what the ILO terms the ‘worst forms of child labour’.
IDSN have launched a YouTube Channel on www.youtube.com/IDSNVideo
March was a very active month for Dalit women in Nepal who have been busy with activities to mark the International Women’s Day, the Social Women’s Forum and the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. The many active participants at the events confirmed that there are plenty of women ready to ensure discrimination against women in Nepal is a thing of the past.
The issue of caste discrimination is receiving welcome and significant international attention in a number of places. The IDSN November newsletter is reflecting this trend.
On the United Nations Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, 25th of November, Dalit women activists are urging the world to pay attention to the plight of women subjected to horrific acts of violence because of their caste and gender.
Maila Mukti Yatra - a march against the practice of manual scavenging – was completed in four Indian states during a 25-day period in November and December 2009.
Three Dalit women from Andhra Pradesh took part in a protest outside the conference area of the UN climate talks by ceremonially burning their conference badges. They felt that their voices had not been heard in the COP15 process.