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Women in Peace Building Process in Nepal and quest for Proportional Representation. Presentation for University of Calcutta on Women’s Political Empowerment: Quotas or not? Feb, 17-18, 2011. OUTLINE. Background…

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women in peace building process in nepal and quest for proportional representation
Women in Peace Building Process in Nepal and quest for Proportional Representation

Presentation for University of Calcutta on

Women’s Political Empowerment: Quotas or not?

Feb, 17-18, 2011

Presented by Saloni Singh, Exe. Chair, DidiBahini

outline
OUTLINE
  • Background…
    • Women’s involvement during Nepal’s Conflict Period (1996-2006)
    • Women’s involvement in the People’s Movement (2006)
    • Women’s involvement in Overturning fudal monarchy and mobilizing for the Constituent Assembly for equal and meaningful participation at all levels
    • Demand for proportional representation and minimum 33% participation as strategy
  • Now…
    • Women advocating for change, using UN Security Council Resolution 1325
    • Some current advocacy for equal representation through peace building initiatives by women in Nepal

Presented by Saloni Singh, Exe. Chair, DidiBahini

the context
The Context….
  • Nepal is a diverse country with different
    • ethnic minorities,
    • caste groups,
    • religious communities,
    • linguistic traditions

All spread across a small but geographically

varied landscape (mountains, hilly region and plains/terai)

Presented by Saloni Singh, Exe. Chair, DidiBahini

nepal s ten year conflict had deep roots
Nepal’s Ten Year Conflict Had Deep Roots…
  • 240 years of feudal monarchy / strong petriarchy
  • Institutionalised /systemic social exclusion and marginalization
  • Many people sacrificed their lives, and women were highly affected as survivors & victims

Presented by Saloni Singh, Exe. Chair, DidiBahini

during the conflict period there were also some positive changes for women
During the Conflict Period, There Were Also Some Positive Changes for Women…
  • During the conflict period, women assumed new non traditional roles, for example...
    • Household decision making;
    • Changed Economic role/ Borrowing money;
    • Direct interaction with market/Selling family produce, and engaging in other types of wage labour;
    • Organizing & participating in religious ceremonies;
    • Infrastructure / construction/ Fixing their houses;
    • Ploughing the land;
    • Ownership and transaction of land;
    • Community leadership and 20% mandatory at local governance;
    • Leadership in the Maoist movement;
    • Jobs in the national army

Presented by Saloni Singh, Exe. Chair, DidiBahini

important social impacts resulted
Important Social Impacts Resulted…
  • The changes during the conflict resulted in
    • Challenge to patriarchal traditions and attitudes towards women
    • A greater degree of respect by the male relatives
    • Increased self-confidence, a sense of empowerment and of self-reliance
  • The development of a reservation/quota system to increase the number of women at the policy level

Presented by Saloni Singh, Exe. Chair, DidiBahini

yet these years also brought devastation to women s lives
Yet, These Years Also Brought Devastation to Women’s Lives…
  • Assumed overwhelming burdens for their families and communities
  • Experienced displacement and forced migration, as entire families were uprooted from their homes
  • Lowered economic conditions
  • Lost/Missing family members
  • Widows had to wait at least 12 years to legally own land/ enjoy right to family property

Presented by Saloni Singh, Exe. Chair, DidiBahini

devastating effects of the conflict cont
Devastating Effects of the Conflict (Cont.)
  • Also, during the conflict women were affected by:
    • Increased family pressures and tension
    • Increasingly subjected to domestic violence and rape
    • Suffered from depression due the traumas related to violence
    • Increased insecurity--living in fear of being kidnapped, tortured, raped or beaten
    • Limited Access to medicines and health care

Presented by Saloni Singh, Exe. Chair, DidiBahini

in the people s movement 2006 women also mobilized for change
In the People’s Movement 2006, Women Also Mobilized for Change…
  • After the conflict, historically excluded groups remained impoverished
  • They became vocal, questioning socio-economic inequalities
  • Mobilizing within the movement, women were able to successfully advocate for 33% participation in the new parliamentary structures
  • Despite of these efforts, still women’s voice still remain marginalized in the peace building process

Presented by Saloni Singh, Exe. Chair, DidiBahini

women mobilization for the constituent assembly ca
Women Mobilization for the Constituent Assembly (CA)
  • Women took on a leading role…
    • To overturn the feudal monarchy that lasted 240 years
    • Organizing rallies to push for rights to equal participation
    • Building alliances for democracy, nationally and locally
    • Raising our voices to call for the implementation of a reservation system and for women's rights to be respected
    • Conducting trainings and raising the public’s awareness about the CA
  • Results of these efforts:
    • 191 women were elected to the CA;
    • Marginalized women’s concerns are now receiving more attention

Presented by Saloni Singh, Exe. Chair, DidiBahini

women using unscr 1325 as a tool
Women Using UNSCR 1325 as a tool
  • First, what is UNSCR 1325?
  • A binding international law, adopted in 2000 by the UN Security Council
  • It commits governments—including that of Nepal—to:
    • Increase representation of women at all decision-making levels
    • Take special measures to protect women and girls from gender based violence and other forms of violence in situations of armed conflict.
    • Incorporate a gender perspective into UN operations
    • Incorporate a gender perspective into post-conflict processes (including processes of disarmament, resettlement, reintegration, reconstruction, reparation)

Presented by Saloni Singh, Exe. Chair, DidiBahini

women s peacebuilding efforts in nepal
Women’s Peacebuilding Efforts in Nepal
  • Women activists are:
    • Using theatre & illustrated cartoons to outreach across Nepal on SCR 1325
    • Organizing local women’s peace committees across the country
    • Mobilizing for our participation in the CA and local peace committees, voicing concerns about social inclusion (by using principles contained in UNSCR 1325)
    • Supporting Nepal’s Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction to prepare a National Action Plan on the implementation of UNSCR 1325
    • Forming a number of alliances to work together

Presented by Saloni Singh, Exe. Chair, DidiBahini

women s peacebuilding efforts cont
Women’s Peacebuilding Efforts (Cont.)
  • Napali women have learned together as groups, alliances and networks for example....
    • Women's Alliance for Peace, Power, Democracy and Constituent Assembly WAPPDCA.
    • Shanti Malika are the examples of alliance of Women’s NGOs working for the implementation of UN SCR 1325, in partnership with UN agencies and others...

Presented by Saloni Singh, Exe. Chair, DidiBahini

women s peacebuilding efforts cont14
Women’s Peacebuilding Efforts (Cont.)
  • Together, we are calling for:
    • Equal representation of women at all government levels and in all committees related to conflict prevention and resolution
    • At least 33% of women members in the Local Peace Committees (This must be required in Terms of Reference, as currently women remain marginalized, being allocated less than 10% of the seats)
    • An end to ongoing impunity for perpetrators of violence against women, with particular respect to those from marginalized castes and ethnicities.
    • Women’s human rights to be addressed by the Constitutional Assembly, electoral system, police and judiciary

Presented by Saloni Singh, Exe. Chair, DidiBahini

women s recommendations for transition in nepal
Women’s Recommendations for Transition in Nepal
  • Translation of UN SCR 1325 into local languages & wide dissemination, proper implementation of NAP
  • Meaningful participation in ongoing peace process and negotiations
  • Equal involvement of women in the design and proceedings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC)
  • Special women’s hearings during the TRC
  • Adoption of gender specific models of reparations
  • Recognition of women candidates for UN posts, envoys, and ambassadors
  • Gender and social inclusion sensitivity training for security forces of Nepal

Presented by Saloni Singh, Exe. Chair, DidiBahini

thank you very much
THANK YOU VERY MUCH!

Presented by Saloni Singh, Exe. Chair, DidiBahini