Respected media personnel,
Recent elections, both the local level and the provincial level have created a base for possible economic, social and political changes in our country. Media has been playing a crucial role in country’s economic, social and cultural change since the very beginning. It also plays a very significant role in social justice, equity and human rights resumption.
Nepalese women have been facing various forms of violence, exploitation and discrimination since centuries because of the consequences of several malpractices established on social/cultural forms. Nepal’s constitution 2072, article 38, clause 3, clearly states that,”No women shall be subjected to physical, mental, sexual, psychological or other form o violence or exploitation on grounds of religion, social, cultural tradition, practice or any other grounds.” Our country has taken a huge political leap by entering into democratic republican system. Despite of which, there is still violence and discrimination prevailed against women on the basis of culture and religion. Even in this 21st century, we hear news of women dying because of dowry, accused of being a witch etc. Be it the ritual of keeping women/girls in a hut at far-western region or by restricting women from entering in the kitchen at Kathmandu during their menstruation cycle, the discrimination is the same. Because of the patriarchal mindset and the norms and values guided by the same, women are still not seen from the lens of equality. Women have time and again proved their capacity and ability in every political movement by always staying in the front row. However, women are still given a secondary position after every movement. Family, society and nation has still not been able to accept women’s existence and leadership.
In the presence of more than 80 Women Human Rights Defenders from all 7 provinces, women Human Rights Defender’s 14th consultation seminar and 10th general meeting is accomplished by promulgating a declaration paper which addresses the fact that without the elimination of practice of harmful customs, constitutional right of gender equality and sustainable development goals assimilated by government can’t be achieved, and also demands to implement the policies on eradicating harmful customs. This seminar also declared to organize a 100 day campaign against all the harmful customs along with the initiative of all the Women Human Rights Defenders from all 7 provinces. This campaign will start from 10th December to 8th March. Under this campaign, a feminist forum will be organized with the slogan “A female friendly federal republican Nepal is possible, we will make it happen”, addressing various questions. This feminist forum will be focused in the following subject matters:
Province no.1: Female’s work, valued work, dignified work
Province no.2: Custom oriented violence, democratic challenge
Province no.3: Female friendly rehabilitation is possible, we will make it happen
Province no.4: Reconstruction after earthquake and safe employment
Province no.5: Transitional justice is possible in our generation
Province no.6: Based of Provincial development, right to reproductive and sexual health
Province no.7: Provincial identity, gender equality and self respect
Alike in past days, we are fully confident that we will have your support in eradication of harmful customs in coming days as well.
Dr. Renu Adhikari
National Alliance of Women Human Rights Defenders