Out of a population of 26 million, civil society organizations, NGOs and Dalit organizations estimate that approximately 4,5 million Nepalis are Dalits, while the national census counts only about 3 million.
The national index of empowerment and inclusion reveal Dalit women to be the most marginalized, much worse off than Dalit men. As women, they have no control over resources such as land, housing or money. When given the opportunity, Dalit women voice their concern over being deprived of these livelihood options as well of lack of access to education for their children.
Apart from being forced into the most demeaning jobs, Dalit women are extremely vulnerable to sexual exploitation and are often victims of trafficking and forced sexual labour. Amongst the Dalit communities themselves, the women of the Badi group are largely looked down upon as sex workers.
Dalit girls in general are trafficked to Indian brothels in increasing numbers and forced to work as prostitutes. Many of the girls believe that they will obtain jobs as domestic helpers and willingly follow brokers in the hope of earning money to support their families (1). In the Pune area there are an estimated 12.000 Nepali prostitutes and in Mumbai the number is approximately 40.000 (2).