Dalit ("untouchable") women with intellectual disabilities, especially in remote rural Far-West Nepal, one of Nepal's poorest areas, face a triple burden. This project will: a) Conduct intensive policy level workshops with election authorities to enforce voter accessibility laws; b) Engage disabled persons' organizations and other community groups to collaboratively advocate for the civic and political rights of Dalit women with intellectual disabilities.
In remote rural Nepal, especially in 4 project districts: Achham, Dadeldhura, Doti and Kanchanpur, intellectual disability is still attributed to past wrongdoing by parents or even by people with disabilities themselves. In these districts, persons with intellectual disabilities are barred from religious rites and cultural events like wedding ceremonies and other formal occasions, as their presence is thought to bring bad luck.
This project will: Increase knowledge of inclusive elections by project stakeholders (Dalit women with intellectual disabilities, their families, disabled persons' organizations, service providers, and Nepal's Election Commission). We will do this with intensive workshops with detailed simple written materials on voting rights. We will organize 6 different 3-day workshops (6 hours- /- day) in each district and intensive 4 different 3-day workshops (6 hours- /- day) in Kathmandu.
Project Impact: Equip 400 Dalit women with intellectual disabilities (100 women in each district), their families, representatives from Parent Federation of Persons with Intellectual Disabilities, Election Commission staff, Court staff, and police officers with insights and skills on the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Article 29 (Right to Political Participation).