Renu Sijapati, from the Feminist Dalit Organisation – FEDO Nepal, delivered an oral statement at the 41st session of the UN Human Rights Council in June 2019, encouraging Nepal to implement the recommendations in the UN Nepal visit report of the Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women. The visit took place in October 2018.
Overall, Nepal has recognized the existence of caste-based discrimination and has adopted legislation to deal with such issue, in a structural manner. At the same time, implementation challenges remain.
Ms. Sijapati mentioned in her statement, “out of the total incidents of rape in Nepal, 21% come from the Dalit community” – a high demographic concentration of this group. Moreover, Ms. Sijapati added, “in 80% of such cases involving Dalit women, the victim has been killed”, pointing to a very low social cost for perpetrating sexual violence against women from this community. The statement also underlines that social stigma, the normalization of violence, casteist attitudes combined with patriarchal social norms leading to lower education levels and a high percentage of poverty among Dalit women.
Ms. Sijapati closed her statement by declaring her engagement in a forward-looking dialogue, encouraging Nepal to implement the recommendations contained in the report in good faith and in close consultation with Dalit women organizations.