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“Indigenous Women’s Rights are Human Rights”. Indigenous Women’s Participation in Political Sector : An Experience of Nepal International Parliamentary Conference Parliaments, Minorities and Indigenous Peoples 31 october-3 November 2010, Tuxtla, Mexico. Presented By Lucky Sherpa

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“Indigenous Women’s Rights are Human Rights”

Indigenous Women’s Participation in Political Sector : An Experience of NepalInternational Parliamentary Conference Parliaments, Minorities and Indigenous Peoples 31 october-3 November 2010, Tuxtla, Mexico

Presented By

Lucky Sherpa

Member of Constituent Assembly, Nepal

[email protected]

Kathmandu, Nepal

indigenous peoples of nepal
Indigenous Peoples of Nepal
  • According to CBS 2001, Indigenous Nationalities in Nepal Consists 37.2 Percent of the Total Nepal Population That is 8.46 nationalities recognized by Gov’t but there are still some groups to be enlisted.
  • There are 59 indigenous Nationalities and more are yet to be recognized.
  • Indigenous Nationalities are found in 70 out of 75 Districts in Nepal.
  • Indigenous Nationalities make up more than 50 percent in nearly all the hill districts of eastern and Central Nepal.
indigenous women of nepal
  • Women Population- 50.4, 11377556
  • Indigenous Women Population-37.5
  • Ips recognized by the Gov’t -59

Source: Census 2001

Box 1.

Indigenous Nationalities of Nepal


1. Bara Gaunle 7. Lhomi (Shingsawa) 13. Thakali

2. Bhutia 8. Lhopa 14. Thudam

3. Byansi 9. Marphali Thakali 15. Tingaunle Thakali

4. Chhairotan 10. Mugali 16. Topkegola

5. Dolpo 11. Siyar 17. Sherpa

6. Larke 12. Tangbe 18. Wallung


1. Bankaria 9. Hayu 17. Newar

2. Baramo 10. Hyolmo 18. Pahari

3. Bhujel/Gharti 11. Jirel 19. Rai

4. Chepang 12. Kushbadia 20. Sunuwar

5. Chhantyal 13. Kusunda 21. Surel

6. Dura 14. Lepcha 22. Tamang

7. Fri 15. Limbu 23. Thami

8. Gurung 16. Magar 24. Yakkha


1. Bote 4. Kumal 7. Raute

2. Danuwar 5. Majhi

3. Darai 6. Raji


1. Dhanuk 4. Jhangad 8. Satar/

(Rajbanshi) 5. Kisan Santhal

2. Dhimal 6. Meche 9. Tajpuria

3. Gangai 7. Rajbanshi (Koch) 10. Tharu

Source: Nepal Rajpatra (Nepal Gazette), February 7, 2002.

238 years of discrimination
238 years of Discrimination
  • On the Basis of Gender
  • Caste/Ethnicity
  • Religion
  • Language
  • Culture
Source : ESP based on data from Human Development Report, NESAC, 1999* estimated onlyHuman Development Indicators
fundamental problems of ips of nepal
Fundamental Problems of IPs of Nepal
  • Lack of participation in all areas of Governance
  • Weak Institutional Framework for Supporting their development
  • Inadequate Government Policies to Promote their development and poor implementation of these policies.
  • Low Educational Status
  • Low Socioeconomic Status
women movement and indigenous women of nepal
Women Movement and Indigenous Women of Nepal
  • Women’s movement of Nepal is only centered on the gender discrimination issue of dominant groups, but has failed to encompass the issues and innermost dimensions of adivasi/ Janajati (Indigenous Nationalities women in this movement.
  • Diversity of indigenous women have not been yet recognized by Women movement.
  • Although Innumerable programs related to women development and Gender equality are being implemented in the country, Programs have benefited those limited castes and communities who dominate stat affairs.
discrimination social exclusion marginalization and poverty

Constitution; Laws; Rules; Policies and Plans; Economic, Social and Political System; Institutions and Structures, etc.

Decision Makers




High Caste Groups

High Caste Groups

High Caste Groups

Janajati & others

Janajati & others

Janajati & others




Policy/Plan Implementers

Policy Makers


Caste Groups



Marginalized Janajati

Increased resource access

Ensured socio-economic & political inclusion

Marginalized Tarai caste groups


Discrimination, Social Exclusion, Marginalization and Poverty
present political context and ips of nepal
Present Political Context and Ips of Nepal
  • Building a New Constitution for Nepal
  • Out of Total CA members, 33 percent consists of Indigenous CA Members .
  • New Constitution is becoming a Low priority for most of the Political Parties
  • Cases of Human Right Violation, insecurity and Impunity at Rise.
  • Bandhs and Strikes at rise
status of indigenous women of nepal
Status of Indigenous Women of Nepal
  • Socio-Cultural Status
  • Indigenous women in Administration and Policy making
    • Total Civil Servants - 93,716
      • Women Civil Servants- 8008
    • Total Gazetted 9517
      • Women Employee 487 that is 5.12 percent
    • Total Non Gazetted 84199
      • Women Non Gazetted 7521 that is 8.93 percent of the total
    • Bahun Chhetri, Thakuri, Shah, Yadav women - 62.6 percent,
    • Newar women 22.0 percent,
    • Non-newar indigenous women 13.02 percent and
    • Dalit and other women comprise 2.27
  • Indigenous Women in Decision Making level
  • Access to Education
  • Indigenous women and Health
  • July 2000
different forms of violence against indigenous women
POLITICAL Violence Against Indigenous Women

In-equal\equitable representation in all the political mechanisms at all level.

Organizational Structure of Political Parties

Different Forms of Violence Against Indigenous Women
indigenous women in indigenous peoples organization
Indigenous Women in Indigenous Peoples Organization
  • Underrepresented in Decision Making posts and processes
  • Indigenous men guided by Hindu Patriarchal norms and values and high level of inferiority complex.
  • Underrepresented in Decision Making posts and processes
  • Indigenous Women’s representation in most of the Political Parties of Nepal is almost nil in decision making level but represented in the lower cadre level.
  • In-equal\equitable representation in all the political mechanisms at all level.
    • Army Adjustment Special Committee
      • no. of IP women-none
    • Council of Ministers etc.
      • no. of IP Women
  • Treated as weaker than men and discrimination on pay scale.
    • Wage Discrimination- Low wage for women
  • Treated as incompetency to non-indigenous women and discrimination on pay scale.
  • Job Politics
    • Exploitation - Undue influence/Advantage
violence in socio cultural sector
Violence in Socio Cultural Sector
    • Omissions of cultural Identity-
    • Polyandry
      • In some IPs Community
    • Polygamy
      • In some of the IPs community
    • Marriage at Child/Pregnancy Stage
      • Child Marriage in Tharu community.
  • Dowry System specially in Terai IP communities
  • Testimony from Tharu Communities
domestic violence
Domestic Violence
  • Torture from husband by consuming Excessive  of Liquor
    • Physical torture
      • Beating, Snatching, Threatening, Starving
    • Mental torture
      • Abusing, ignoring, insulting, harassing etc.
  • Torture from other members (brothers, seniors)
    • Assigning excessive of work
    • Treating as burden and curse for family
violence in society
Violence in society
  • IP Women are treated as the means of entertainment
    • Mostly employed in Night Bar/Restaurants and Massage Centres etc.
    • Mostly involved in entrepreneurs situated in High Way and Motels
    • Mostly employed in Hotel and Casinos
  • UN Organizations
    • Review Gender Policy under MDG inserting the programmes deals with Indigenous Women specifically.
    • Ask reports annually to the government on the programmes conducted for IP Women
    • Ensure full involvement of indigenouswomen in negotiation of peace dialogue and agreements at national and international levels, including through provision of training for indigenouswomen and their organisations on formal peace processes,
nepal government
Nepal Government
  • The state should recognize identity of indigenous women and specify indigenous women in all plan, policy, strategy, operational strategy, program, budget, monitoring and evaluation and make necessary arrangement for proportional distribution of budget, resource and means
  • Insert Indigenous Women’s Development Policy in National Development Plan
  • Recognize the diversity of Indigenous women in national women commission
  • Formulate the Reservation Act Immediately for ensuring participation and representation of indigenous women in all mechanisms of the government.
  • Ensure proportional representation and special rights of indigenous peoples-women and men, at all levels of the tree organs of the state - executive, legislative and judiciary
to indigenous peoples
To Indigenous Peoples
  • Respect the spirit and aspiration of indigenous Peoples movement
  • Respect the international practices of characteristics of indigenous peoples
  • Respect the federal, inclusive democracy and diversity
  • Get united and make space for all Nepalese Peoples
continue nepal govt
Continue Nepal Govt.
  • Ensure the participation of indigenous women in the formulation of policy, plans and programmes by government.
  • Free Prior and Informed Consent and effective participation of indigenous women should be respected.
  • Implementation the ILO Convention 169 effectively in consultation with IP Women.
to civil society and international organizations
To Civil Society and International Organizations
  • Consider a National Concern to the problems and issues of Indigenous women and peoples.
  • Encourage Indigenous women and men to come forward in strengthening federalism and democratic republic in a meaningful way.
  • The state, women’s movement, and international aid agencies should recognize diversity of women or gender in terms of caste, ethnicity, language, culture and region to ensure proportional participation and representation in all sector.