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Discussion Topic: Support to end discrimination against marginalized women and girls

Discussion Topic: Support to end discrimination against marginalized women and girls

Nepal is a country diverse in religion, culture, ethnicity and language. In a diverse society, each group and community has its own kind of problems. Women in this country are already oppressed because of discrimination and social exclusion due to gender, and women from ethnic minorities and groups are especially so as they have to bear the burden of both caste and gender discrimination.

The constitution of Nepal has prohibited discrimination based on caste and sex. However, the caste structure still remains deeply ingrained in many rural parts of Nepal. Despite nationwide improvements in women’s education, health and other social services, women belonging to ethnic minorities and groups are still considered insignificant or powerless, hence, deprived of basic necessities. The negligence and discrimination of Nepali traditional society has made ethnic minority women more vulnerable and insecure. Due to lack of self-confidence, power, support, and security, they are more likely to be victims of various forms of violence, sexual harassment, abuse and exploitation. Their lower enrollment rates in education and employment opportunities also prevent them from having stable income or control over their earnings preventing them from securing resources that would support their resilience. 

Promoting the economic empowerment of marginalized women in Nepali society can be a major factor in achieving economic growth, confidence, education, health etc., which helps build sustainable and resilient communities for ethnic minority groups. Also, ensuring equal participation of marginalized women in the local decision-making process at all levels of the community can help increase their capacity and leadership skills. Overall, strengthening marginalized women as a whole is to empower them to fight against any form of violence and discrimination.

The above is one view of GBV, presented to promote thought and discussion around the topic.  The views expressed in the discussion topic does not necessarily reflect the views of the project or its team members.

One of the objectives of RAP3 MHLR is to empower women who are poor and marginalized through equal economic opportunities in road construction and maintenance.  During the selection process of local road building and maintenance groups, our project prioritizes to marginalized women. Providing marginalized men and women with equal opportunities to work with all groups in the community have encouraged them to come forward and participate equally in all kinds of community activities and meetings. In addition, strict project policies against discrimination, violence and unequal treatment encourage local workers to treat everyone with respect, regardless of their gender, religion, ethnicity or historical background.  The ability to bring all local workers from various backgrounds together and create harmony and peace not only in their work but also in their local community is a success of RAP3 MHLR.

In order to build a healthy and developed society, it is necessary to end the impacts of deeply engrained caste structures and cultures that disproportionately affect women and especially marginalized groups.

Despite the abolition of caste discrimination from the nation’s law, women belonging to ethnic minority groups continue to be the target of constant rejection, hatred and violence in their community.

How can we instigate change in every local community for the benefit and development of marginalized women in Nepali society? How to prevent all kinds of violence against them? Let’s discuss.