In remote rural Nepal, especially in Far-West Nepal (Achham, Dadeldhura, Doti and Kanchanpur districts), one of Nepal’s poorest areas, disability is still attributed to past wrongdoing by parents or even by disabled people themselves. Disabled persons, especially persons with intellectual and psychosocial 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.
Also, in remote rural Nepal, Dalit (“untouchable”) women with disabilities face triple discrimination. They are often subjected to inhuman treatment such as untouchability, and, as disabled, they are perceived as objects requiring charity, with seemingly no rights
This project aims to:
a) Conduct intensive policy level workshops with election authorities to enforce voter accessibility laws;
b) Engage disabled peoples’ organizations and other community groups to collaboratively advocate for the civic and political rights of women with intellectual disabilities;
c) Engage key government departments to sustain disabled women's inclusion, build networks, and provide ongoing training to disability rights advocates.
- Equipped 300 women with disabilities (75 women in each district), their families, representatives from organizations of persons with disabilities, Election Commission staff, Court staff, and police officers with insights and skills on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), Article 29 (Right to Political Participation);
- Trained 12 human rights defenders to understand election laws and policies to use in prosecuting cases of persons with intellectual disabilities;
- Trained 25 policy-makers on how to draft enforceable election laws to promote voting rights of persons with disabilities;
- Minimized stereotypes prevalent in rural communities about Nepali disabled women’s capabilities that block them from exercising their voting rights;
- Initiated a positive flow-on effect on other marginalized people (2SLGBTQ+, the elderly, persons with low literacy, indigenous people with disabilities, people with mental health conditions or psychosocial disabilities) who are excluded from their voting rights.