Stories

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Over 40 youth from across Nepal sent pitches for developing videos focusing on the social norm they wanted to change. Five pitches on the themes of Chhaupadi (a form of menstrual exile where women and girls sleep in small huts or animal sheds during menstruation and immediately after giving birth), caste-based discrimination, issues of queer and disability and gender identity were shortlisted for filmmaking.
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Kamala Thapa, 39, an indigenous Magar woman, is Indigenous Peoples and Local Community Manager at the Centre for Indigenous Peoples’ Research and Development, a non-governmental organization in Kathmandu, Nepal.
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Sharada Bista is the founder and chair of Disability Rights Promotion Forum in Nepal. She is from Doti District, in the Sudurpaschim Province of Nepal. Her drive to fight for those rights comes from growing up in the far west of the country with a physical disability herself. "My lived experience as a woman with a disability is what drove me to become a disability rights activist. I grew up watching society discriminate, insult, and shut away people with disabilities. Determined to overcome these injustices, I knew that a community was only as strong as its members who are furthest behind,"
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Before the pandemic, Pariyar was able to get food and other essentials on loan from shops in her village and clear the bills when she received her wages, but things became increasingly difficult for Pariyar and her family under lockdown. “Without daily wages, my debts kept adding up. The shops were reluctant to give me more food without money, so my family started cutting down on food,” shares Pariyar.
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Around 6.3 million Nepalis lack citizenship certificates, with a higher proportion among women and marginalized communities. When a person is without citizenship certificates, this can put them at the risk of being stateless. In addition, in Nepal, the citizen certificate is required for accessing most basic services such as opening bank accounts, owning property, or even buying a mobile sim card.
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More than 41 per cent of women lost their jobs during the COVID-19 lockdown in Nepal. Responding to their practical needs, UN Women with support from the Government of Finland has been ensuring their access to food and nutrition through women-managed community kitchens across Nepal. Pushpa Sunar is one of the 123 people employed in the community kitchens, which is providing an income to the women working there and helping to alleviate the care burden among other women, as well as build trust and cohesion in the communities.
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In recent months, South Asia has had some of the highest numbers of COVID-19 cases globally, driven predominantly by the second wave of the pandemic in India and Nepal. Since January 2020, India has reported over 30 million cases and more than 400,000 fatalities, figures that are likely substantially underestimated. Cases in Nepal rapidly spiked in mid-April 2021, with over 635,000 confirmed cases by the end of June and at least 9,000 deaths. Both countries have seen critical gaps in life-saving vaccines, treatment and tests, and in skilled human resources.
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From supplying food and hygiene products, to training health workers and nurses in COVID-safe protocols, providing personal protective equipment to front-line responders, protecting women’s livelihoods and sustaining shelter and essential services for survivors of violence, UN Women is channeling its funds, programmes and expertise to support women’s organizations on the ground. We are also working with national and state governments in India and Nepal to promote gender-responsive policies that support women’s recovery from the crisis.
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In every region of the world, LGBTIQ+ people are routinely denied their rights to freedom, safety, and equality. They may face pervasive discrimination, experience intolerable acts of violence that go unpunished, and lack access to justice. These experiences cannot be separated from struggles they may also face on account of other intersecting identities. Throughout this year’s moments of collective crisis, celebration, and all that is in between, LGBTIQ+ activists have continued to fight against inequalities, anchored in and strengthened by the work of Black people, Indigenous people, and people of colour, to push for a safer, more equal world.
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Laxmi Badi, a Dalit woman leader from Nepal is at the forefront of the struggle for equal rights, even amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. In South Asia, persons from Dalit community are at the bottom of the archaic “caste system” – a social stratification, whereby individuals face multiple generations of discrimination and segregation based on their descent.
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Advances in LGBTIQ rights in Nepal began with a 2007 Supreme Court ruling to legally recognize a third gender category; audit all laws to identify those that discriminated against LGBT people; and open the door to consider same-sex marriage. In 2003, another Supreme Court decision said a person cannot be prohibited from cohabitating with someone of the same gender. But an analysis Prevention Collaborative did in July 2020 with support from UN Women Nepal said that, “Translating the Supreme Court rulings into a legal framework that guarantees inclusion and protections is slow-paced and hindered mainly by bureaucracy and dominant patriarchal institutional and social culture.”
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Women’s land rights are key to their economic independence and better decision-making power within families. In many parts of the world, research shows that lack of land rights makes women more vulnerable to gender-based violence. Dhana*, 38, is among the 218 gender-based violence survivors who have received life-saving assistance from the ‘Provision of Emergency Legal Assistance to Survivors of Gender-Based Violence in the COVID-19 Context’ project.
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This year marks the 20th anniversary of implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325. To honor the occasion, we present stories from the leaders of Nepal's National Women Conflict Victim Network. Nepal's decade long conflict from 1996 to 2006 ended with the then Maoists cadre and the Government of Nepal signing the Comprehensive Peace Agreement.
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Roshani Kumari Chaudhary is an inspiration to many in her village. For someone who made ends meet by working as a farmer and cooking meals for passersby sitting on a mud coated floor of a bamboo hut, she has certainly come a long way. She is now a community leader who commands respect and influence in her Municipality. She proudly shares, “I am now the Chairperson of a Jaldevi Women Farmer Group, a social activist and a member of the health community."
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Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action serves as a transformative blueprint for gender equality and empowerment of women and girls.Despite a steady progress achieved in twelve critical areas of Beijing Declaration, it will take time to fully realize those commitments.Structural gaps and challenges still persist in society. COVID-19 pandemic has risked further aggravating inequalities. We should not let the pandemic stall our progress.
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Shila Ale is a well-recognized woman human rights defender from Barahathawa Municipality, Province 2, Nepal. As member of Respect Nepal, a grassroots women’s organization (GWO), she has been working relentlessly to strengthen access to justice for women and excluded groups.
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UN Women in Asia and the Pacific and World Design Organization (WDO)® have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to work together to identify design solutions to support the prevention of violence against women and girls (VAWG). The collaboration between the two organizations aims to address this violence through the lens of design to identify human-centric, solution-based initiatives that will contribute to achieving multiple development outcomes including better health, education, civic participation and gender equality.
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Sabina Rimal is the Program Officer at Women's Rehabilitation Centre (WOREC) Nepal, an organization working for the protection and promotion of women’s human rights. In her role, Rimal counsels survivors of gender-based violence (GBV) and manages supervision of psycho-social counseling sessions and coordination of safe houses across WOREC‘s network in Nepal.
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Across the globe, many migrants have been waiting to reunite with their families in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and travel restrictions to prevent its spread.
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In 2017, 35-year-old Anita Kumari Chaudhary from Rautahat, Nepal, – attended a vocational training program on tailoring. Little did she know that the course would have been so valuable as she would be sewing masks in 2020 to keep her community safe from the COVID-19 pandemic.