The opportunity to lay the seed of social transformation.
Now, is the time to amplify women’s voices to create women-friendly environment at grassroots.
And it is possible by strengthening women’s leadership through collective actions.
We are supporting the newly elected women at grassroots by developing their conceptual understanding on women’s issues, rights the situation of women, and national/ international commitments.
NAWHRD, WOREC and other like-minded organisations are jointly organizing feminist forums in all 7 states of the country. Newly elected women will join us for an interaction with feminists, women human right defenders, representatives from the different movements, journalists, and other active groups of respective states. Women elected as chair, mayor, deputy major, dalit women representative and local government representatives are invited to these forums along with those women who were active but got defeated in the election.
Feminist forum 2018 has focused on following six key areas:
1. Harmful traditional practices and ways to address those
2. Recovery of earthquake affected areas and women’s leadership
3. Right to mobility of women
4. Sexual and reproductive rights of women starting from below
5. Collective leadership for social transformation
6. Sexual violence during the conflict and women’s leadership to address it
Objectives of this forum
1. To build the capacity of women political leaders who have currently won the local level election to mainstream women’s issues/rights in local governments program.
2. To create enabling the environment for women human rights defenders to realize their rights and the work of WHRDs get recognized.
3. To advocate for the creation of safety net for women human right defenders working at local to national level.
The forum will be started from 9th February 2018) and it has been anticipated to finish all forums within Working Women's day (8th March 2018).
Federal Republic Nepal Local election at glance
• Around 11,325 women got elected at local level.
• 753 got elected as chair/mayor/vice chair or deputy major (more than 99 percent are deputy),
• More than 15,000 women got elected as ward level representatives. Out of them half of the elected women are from Dalit community. Among them, there is a substantial number of women members of National Alliance of Women Human Right Defenders (NAWHRD). These are the women who are active for last several years at grassroots for women’s right to be equal. To live without any forms of discrimination and violence, they initiated and succeeded local level peacebuilding process.
WOREC had organized five peace assemblies, brought out declarations and lobbied with different political parties taking based on the declaration of peace and human right. After peace process began in country women human rights defenders came together to develop women’s charter for social justice and human right and lobbied with political parties to get women’s right included in the constitution. Women human right defenders initiated different campaigns such as anti-rape campaign, campaign against violence against women alleging as witches, women’s right to mobility, women’s right for equal participation at governance and succeeded to make the substantial difference.
As a result, now more than 16,000 women are on the ground as leaders with strong voice and capacity to make these gains grounded and sustainable and create the environment for social transformation. It's very important to note here that around 95 percent of deputies are women and according to the constitutional provisions they will be responsible for all social issues at community level including justice for women. There will be a legal committee formed in their leadership at local level.
In this period, there is need to be in constant contact with WHRDs, create enabling the environment for them to work by building larger alliance/network with different movements, people at grassroots, develop the capacity of other women who got elected and create environment for continuous discussion and actions for women’s right at grassroots levels.