IDSN was delighted to welcome representatives from Dalit Solidarity Networks in Germany, UK, Finland and Norway to Copenhagen for a two-day meeting from 8-9 February. IDSN International Associate Arisa from The Netherlands also took part in the meeting and special guest, Priyadharsini Palani, from The Blue Club, made an inspiring presentation on the organisation’s work on amplifying the voices of Dalit women.
On 14 November the Alderbugh Cinema DocFest invited the IDSN Executive Director to speak about Dalit women human rights defenders and caste in South Asia at the screening of the award winning documentary Writing with Fire.
Brief and recommendations in relation to the UN Forum on Business and Human Rights – 29 November- 1 December The rape and murder of a 20-year-old Dalit factory worker has attracted attention to poor working conditions and caste- and gender-based inequalities in India’s garment industry.
The most recent Global Multidimensional Poverty Index includes caste as an important indicator of poverty in India. According to this method of measuring poverty, progress has been made, but Dalits and Adivasis are still disproportionately poor and women and girls are lagging behind.
Following his visit to Nepal that started on 29 November, the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty, Olivier De Schutter, released a statement highlighting the persistent interconnections between caste and poverty in Nepal. The Rapporteur also raised issues of caste violence and the need to do more to ensure meaningful political representation of Dalit women in Nepal.
Economic, social and labour rights were the thematic headlines of this year’s EU-NGO Human Rights Forum, where three Dalit human rights defenders were featured as panellists, facilitated by IDSN. Caste-related barriers to healthcare in Pakistan, post-covid economic and social recovery for Dalit workers in South Asia and building corporate accountability to respect human rights were among the key topics covered by the panellists.
IDSN member the Feminist Dalit Organization (FEDO) Nepal brought together speakers and participants from across Nepal to discuss the negative effects of caste in Nepal and strategies for action. Topics covered included food security, economic opportunities, shelter, and WASH for the Dalit community and especially Dalit women. Participants also heard about efforts already being made to mitigate the problems faced by Dalit women in Nepal.
On the 30 September, during the Interactive Dialogue with the HRC Advisory Committee, Pradip Pariyar, from IDSN member organisation Samata Foundation, highlighted the need for the UN system to keep engaged in eradicating caste-based discrimination.
The Dalit Women Conclave on caste and gender justice and a subsequent road rally to demand the long-overdue enactment of the anti-discrimination act in Bangladesh called for action to ensure the rights of Dalits in Bangladesh.
A number of recent cases of rape and murder against Dalit women and girls in India have attracted attention from the media as well as politicians. But all too often, violence against Dalit women remains unreported – in India as well as in other caste-affected countries.
Please join IDSN for an exclusive online preview of the upcoming, award-winning feature documentary I Am Belmaya, with live Q&A on Thurs 7 Oct with director Sue Carpenter and co-director/subject Belmaya Nepali, hosted by IDSN.
Veteran civil rights and #BlackLivesMatter campaigner Professor Angela Davis has given a video statement about the need for increased solidarity with the #DalitLivesMatter movement.
EU Special Representative for Human Rights, Eamon Gilmore and India and Nepal desk representatives of the European External Action Service (EEAS) met with IDSN and Dalit women activists from the Feminist Dalit Organisation – Nepal (FEDO) and All India Dalit Mahila Adhikar Manch (AIDMAM-NCDHR) to discuss caste-based violence against Dalit women in their respective countries. The meeting was held online on 24 November and Mr. Gilmore assured the women that the EU remained committed to working to end caste-based violence and discrimination.
The report ‘Justice Denied: Sexual Violence and Intersectional Discrimination’ just released by Equality Now in collaboration with Swabhiman Society, looks at barriers to accessing justice for Dalit women and girls in Haryana, India. The report analyses 40 cases of sexual violence in Haryana and highlights their journey through the criminal justice system. It describes the specific barriers faced by Dalit survivors of sexual violence and presents urgent recommendations to the Indian and Haryana State Governments for taking action to end caste-based sexual violence.
Amnesty International, WaterAid and the International Dalit Solidarity Network call on authorities in India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan to take immediate action to protect sanitation workers who are risking their lives on the COVID-19 frontlines.
In connection with their participation in the 45th Human Rights Council session, states are encouraged to consider the ongoing and systemic practice of discrimination based on work and descent, also known as caste-based discrimination, affecting more than 260 million people globally.
IDSN strongly condemns the rapes and murders of Dalit girls and women in South Asia. The recent case of gang rape and murder of a 19-year old Dalit woman in Hathras, Uttar Pradesh, has highlighted the ongoing brutality against Dalit women and the impunity with which it is administered. We stand in solidarity with Dalit women, their families and human rights defenders taking action on the ground to ensure that justice is served.
The need for more attention to be paid to intersectional caste and gender discrimination and for transforming mindsets through human rights education and awareness raising, was highlighted at the UN multi-stakeholder hearing ‘Accelerating the Realization of Gender Equality and the Empowerment of all Women and Girls’ on 21 July.
A comprehensive report on the status of Dalit women in Nepal has been released by IDSN member the Feminist Dalit Organization Nepal (FEDO) with support from IDSN and Womankind. The report details the situation, challenges and recommendations within poverty, education, health, safety, political participation, Dalit women in the media and Dalit girl children in Nepal. It is clear from the report that while progress has been made, immediate and sustained action targeted at Dalit women in Nepal is crucial.
IDSN submitted a report detailing the challenges faced by Dalit women and girls in Pakistan, for the review of the government’s report on compliance with the UN Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW review), which took place Tuesday 11th February.