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Press Release: Second National Women's Social Forum 15-16th March, 2011

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Press Release

Second National Women's Social Forum

15-16th March, 2011

Over 1000 people from all over Nepal gathered on the 15th of March for the inauguration of the Second Women's National Forum. A rally took place, starting at Bhadrakali and converging in Bhirukuti Mandap where the following events were held. There was representation from marginalized communities such as Dalits, LGBTIs, differently able, women from the Muslim community, indigenous communities, Madhesis, different ethnic groups, Women living with HIV/Aids alongside women from the housing rights movement and from the land rights movement. Migrant workers and women working in informal sector were also a part of the activities.

About 25 workshops took place, covering topics such as: Social and Cultural Rights, Right to food, Human Trafficking, Land Rights, Sexual Rights, Women in Politics and in the Decision Making Process, Dalit Women's Issues, the History and the Future of the Feminist Movement in Nepal, Women's Experience and Contribution to the Peace Building Process, Migrant Workers Eights, Sexual Violence and Access to Justice for the Victims, Protection of Women Human Rights Defenders. The thematic workshops were aimed at finding common ground to make women's voice clearer and stronger. The participants had the opportunity to discuss and to question the development apparatus of the country and the shortcomings of the existent neo-liberal policies from a gender sensitive standpoint.

The forum allowed for inter-movements dialogues allowing heterogeneous movements to have a better understanding of each other and share their different experiences. It also provided a platform for different generations of feminists to come together to confront each other's views and integrate their perspectives. Based on the common standpoints elaborated during the workshops by the various movements, a Declaration has been drafted for dissemination.

The event this year took place in the crucial moment of the current political deadlock and the consequent delayed promulgation of the constitution. With only 73 days remaining for the deadline given for the promulgation, the event provided ground for discussion and collected voices for pressurizing the constituent assembly, the government, and policy makers for a timely, democratic and gender-sensitive constitution.

Many organizations disseminated information through IEC stalls. Other side events included: A Cycle City 2020 campaign, a cultural programme featuring Kritika campaign, a photo exhibition on the struggle of Nepali women for democracy and movie screenings on related topics organized by Docskool. A plenary workshop was conducted at the conclusion of the event and brought forth the conclusions of the various thematic workshops and highlighted on the main points to be included in the Declaration.

ORGANIZERS: WOREC Nepal, National Alliance of Women Human Rights Defenders, CWIN, CWISH, Shakti Samuha, Didi Bahini, COCAP, Youth Action Nepal, Jaagaran Nepal, Pourakhi, PNCC, Action Aid, Shanti Malika, Nepal Mahila Ekta Samaj, FIAN, Mahila Prjanan Adhikar Karyalaya, CAED Nepal, Mahila Adhikar Manch Prerana, Blue Diamond Society, Mahila Surakshya Dabab Samuha, feminist (dalit ( FEDO) organization), Nepal Disabled Women's Association (NDWA), Nepal Dalit Mahila Utthan Sangh, Women's Forum for Women Nepal, Shakti Samuha, Working Women's Journalists, Shanti Milan Samaj, CSRC, Bhumi Adhikar Manch, AATWIN, WAPDCA, Mahila Kanun tatha Bikas Manch, Himwanti, Homenet, Kritika Campaign, Lalitpur Nursing College, Rashtriya Dalit Network (RDN), Nawatara Kishori Sanjal.

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