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.
To celebrate the 100th International Women’s Day, the Feminist Dalit Organization (FEDO) hosted an event featuring photography, art and a documentary film with Alliance Française (a French cultural centre) in Kathmandu. Messages of hope were spread by participants writing their thoughts on a mural painted by 8 artists. Stalls at the event also showcased the work of NGOs working with marginalized women and represented disabled, Muslim, Madhesi, indigenous and Dalit women.
Later in the month the Social Women’s Forum took place in Nepal where NGOs supporting women in Nepal gathered together for a rally, drama and dance performances to celebrate women’s voices and to support each other to carry on their struggle. FEDO held a popular workshop on “How Dalit people can access the government” at the event.
Finally toward the end of the month, a rally for Dalit rights in the streets of Kathmandu kicked off the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. Political parties and Dalit organisations including FEDO participated in the rally with banners and slogans to urge that Dalit rights be included in the next constitution. An event to highlight caste discrimination was also organized by the National Dalit Commission (NDC). Here, Durga Sob, the President of FEDO, explained about the pervasiveness of caste discrimination in Nepal and a Dalit member of the Constituent Assembly, Subash Chandra Nembang, added that caste discrimination should be eliminated in the upcoming Constitution and in practice as well.