Caste-Based Discrimination and Untouchability against Dalit in Nepal
Nepal's Civil Society ALTERNATIVE REPORT to the UN Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination in addition to the Government of Nepal periodic reports 17 to 23, to be reviewed at the 95th session, 23 April -11 May 2018 Caste-Based Discrimination and Untouchability against Dalit in Nepal February 2018
The Concluding Observations of the May 2018 review of Nepal, by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD), includes dozens of remarks relating to caste-based discrimination and several strongly worded recommendations on fighting it. Read the full IDSN analysis
The newly released Human Rights Watch World Report 2018, Amnesty International Report 2018 and the US State Department reports on India and Nepal, find that caste-based discrimination and violence remain a serious threat as hate crimes against Dalits are widespread. Some of the other themes raised in the reports include discrimination in accessing services, ´manual scavenging´ and bonded labour. Read the IDSN summary of these reports
Learn about the work of IDSN member the Feminist Dalit Organisation (FEDO) to promote education and economic empowerment of Dalit women in their October-December e-bulletin.
Mayawati was illiterate for much of her life. As a Dalit woman, she faced discrimination and was not made to feel equal. With support from the Feminist Dalit Organization (FEDO), Mayawati joined a women-led group and completed training courses. This helped her to realise how important her voice is.
Young Dalit activists played an active role at the 2017 Forum on Minority Issues, which took place in Geneva from 30 November to 1 December. Dalit women from Nepal and India, forming part of an IDSN delegation, gave powerful presentations under the theme of Minority youth: towards diverse and inclusive societies. They explained to participants how deeply ingrained caste-based discrimination continues to pose severe obstacles to equal participation in most aspects of life and how social media offers both new opportunities for change and new challenges.
Inspiring video from Feminist Dalit Organization – FEDO, Nepal about Dalit women and political representation in Nepal. Meet som of the fantastic women putting Dalit rights on the political agenda in Nepal and working together across party lines to create a better future.
When a record number of Dalit women now take their seat in local Government across the country it is indeed a dream come true. IDSN members in Nepal have been working for decades to increase the political participation of Dalit women, resulting in the 2017 Local Level Election Act stipulating that at least one of the four members of each Ward Committee should be a woman from the Dalit community. As a result of this over 7000 Dalit women stood for election and thousands will be set to take their seat in local Government this autumn.
Following the devastating floods in South Asia serious concern for Dalit communities affected by the disaster is being reported. IDSN’s members are on the ground responding and monitoring the situation as it unfolds. Nepal, Bangladesh and India have experienced severe flooding over the past weeks and many Dalit communities are hard hit. In this article we will share some of the reports we have received from members in Nepal. We will be following up on this once more reports have come in from the rest of the region.
This paper, compiled by the Feminist Dalit Organization (FEDO) of Nepal in consultation with Dalit women’s groups, seeks to inform the international community on the occasion of the High Level Political Forum on the SDGs 2017. It lays out the situation for Dalit women in Nepal, including the protections, the achievements and the challenges, and makes recommendations to governments and donors on the implementation of the gender provisions of the SDGs, to ensure that Dalit women’s rights are achieved and that no-one is left behind.
In connection with their participation at the High Level Political Forum on the Sustainable Development Goals in New York, IDSN member in Nepal, FEDO, has produced a valuable briefing paper on the Sustainable Development Goals and how they are directly related to the situation of Dalits, and in particular of Dalit women. The paper offers key insight into the relevance of the SDGs and their implication at the national and local level.
Children in Dalit settlements of Bishnupur Rural Municipality in Saptari are in dire need of relief materials, as they have lost their houses along with clothes and food grains in the recent floods in the district. The hapless children, along with their parents, have been taking shelter in makeshift tents on the roadside. They are just surviving on food items such as noodles, biscuits, and beaten rice provided by different organisations.
Pabitra Bishwokarma is the President of the Feminist Dalit Organisation (FEDO) in the Makhanpur District of Nepal. “I was forced to get married when I was only 14. My husband was 11 years older than me and we had never met. I wanted to continue at school, but my parents insisted that I marry. So I tried to poison myself. But I still had to get married. “I heard FEDO interviewed on the radio and was interested in what they said about Dalit women’s rights. After I became District President I realised that I needed to be more educated so that I could motivate and help other women. “My ambition is to be a political leader and a role model for the Dalit community. In the past Dalit women have been used by political parties, but, thanks to FEDO, we now have bargaining power.
Women from the Dalit caste in Nepal face huge discrimination on every level and are treated as outcasts in society. They are made even more vulnerable by their lack of access to money, housing and land. We met Sharada, a woman from the poorest Dalit community. She gets support from our partner Feminist Dalit Organisation (FEDO) to understand and fight for Dalit women’s rights.
Deemed ‘untouchable’ by her community, Kamala faced discrimination for being a Dalit woman. People were afraid of her and she felt ashamed. With support from the Feminist Dalit Organization (FEDO), Kamala joined the Shiba Madesi Dalit Women’s Group where she gained the skills and confidence to claim her rights and take control of her life
Married at just nine years old, Anita’s story is far from uncommon among Dalit women. Facing discrimination for her lower caste status, Anita was led to believe she was ‘untouchable’ by her community. Through joining a women-led group organised by the Feminist Dalit Organization (FEDO), Anita built strength, grew in confidence and made friendships. Now, as the President of the group, she stands up for the rights of Dalit women and girls.
Mayawati was illiterate for much of her life. As a Dalit woman, she faced discrimination and was ashamed of who she was. With support from IDSN member Feminist Dalit Organization (FEDO), Mayawati joined a women-led group and completed training courses. This helped her to realise how important her voice is.
Santu was grieving the loss of her husband and looking after her five small children when the earthquake hit Nepal in 2015. On top of the hardships she already faced, Santu lost her house to the earthquake and was left with nothing.