Advocacy Update 2013 Issue 1


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We would like to welcome you to new issue of Advocacy Update which highlights the events that took place from January to April 2013. The issue presents the advocacy strategies taken by WOREC NEPAL at national and international level. It highlights the activities on National Consultation on Violence against Women, Human Rights assessment instrument on Domestic Violence (DOVA), discussion on need of Fast Track Court in Nepal and celebration of international women’s day.

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Advocacy Update 2013 Issue 1

  1. 1. Welcome to the New Issue of Advocacy Update ADVOCACY UPDATE Jan-April 2013 WOREC Nepal Balkumari, Lalitpur WOREC Newsletter January-April 2013 | Issue 1 We would like to welcome you to new issue of Advocacy Update which highlights the events that took place from January to April 2013. The issue presents the advocacy strategies taken by WOREC NEPAL at national and international level. It highlights the activities on National Consultation on Violence against Women, Human Rights assessment instrument on Domestic Violence (DOVA), discussion on need of Fast Track Court in Nepal and celebration of international women’s day.
  2. 2. January-April | 2013 WOREC recently organised the National Conference on Violence against Women (NCVAW)entitled"HolisticApproachestoRealizing Women’s Rights Ensuring Justice, Ensuring Rights: from Victimhood to Agency" in collaboration with the Prime Minister’s Office, National Women’s Commission, NAWHRD, Nari Sip Srijana Kendra and Gramin Mahila Sewa Kendra, with a commitment to place the rights of survivors in the center. The discussions at the conference raised the need to review existing government policies and framework against VAW. It was unanimously decided that present frameworks are discriminatory in their conceptualisation of women as victims incapable of agency. Additionally, it was revealed that there was a need to strengthen measures for the security of WHRDs who serve as champions for bringing the issues of VAW to the surface, especially in situations where state machinery is inadequate. Government bodies have a lot to learn from Hetauda, Makwanpur | January 6-7, 2013 Holistic Approaches to Realizing Women’s Rights Ensuring Justice, Ensuring Rights: from Victimhood to Agency National Conference on Violence against Women (NCVAW) 2
  3. 3. January-April | 2013 civil society groups and WHRDs about the realities of VAW in Nepal. This information exchange program was therefore crucial for positive partnerships and in the formation of government strategies to challenge VAW. The national conference had the following objectives: • To generate knowledge on the current situation and the complexities of VAW; • To share and document women’s process from victims to agents of change; Overview on the issues of Violence againstWomenbyDr.RenuRajbhandari, Chairperson,NationalAllianceofWomen Human Right Defenders (NAWHRD) In current scenario government is not sensitive enough on women’s issues, existing laws are not amended, new laws are not formulated, media are not being sensitive and activists are tired of raising voices but still the efforts are not enough. The cases of violence against women are not registered i.e. their F.I.R is not easily registered. It is necessary to think whether our strategy is not working or we are not analyzing the loopholes in the process to get justice. So we need to strategize • To review policies, and the institutional efforts of countries that have attempted to provide redress to women survivors; • To provide a forum for civil society organizations, women’s rights activists, and policy makers to collectively analyse gaps in service provision and support services for survivors while identifying future strategies; • To develop closer links between theoryandpractice,andtoallowspace for dialogue between practitioners and knowledge producers. from Victimhood to Agency. We have to look if the women are re-victimized in the court or in any legal procedures. We are here not to blame each-other but to sit together to sort out our problems and find the way out with effective solutions.” Dr. Renu Rajbhandari, Chairperson NAWHRD ADVOCACY UPDATE 3
  4. 4. January-April | 2013 Dr. Mina Acharya, Senior Researcher, Economist, and Gender Expert She elaborated that these days women are more aware about their rights and they are asking for their education and liberty which can be the reason of increasing violence against women. There is a huge possibility of resisting force from those people who are in favor of and benefiting from existing social structure. The mechanisms for implementation of existing laws are lacking. The people’s mindset should be changed. So, from this platform all should come with way out to end violence against women. Mohana Ansari, Member of National Women Commission There is a need of economic empowerment for women. Women of all 75 districts were on the streets asking justice. This is possible due to the effort highlighting the situation of women by the media through community media and communication. The perpetrators are not punished by the concerned authority and are encouraged to commit such violence time and again in society. The smugglers are proudly exposed to public but the perpetrators of violence against women are not revealed such way because they are directly or indirectly affiliated to political parties. The issues raised are nowhere though entering into political mainstream after decade long conflict. So, the state is obliged to hear the victim’s voice and shouldn’t talk only about punishment but also should provide compensation to the victims. Raju Man Singh Malla, Secretary of Prime Minister’s Office He said that it is somehow true that the concerned authorities are not being sensitive enough on the issues of violence against women. The policy on Zero Tolerance on Violence against Women is still under process. The policies on violence against women and women empowerment are still under implementation although they are less effective. The conference intended to provide a learning platform for activists, researchers, and practitioners to review the struggle for freedom from VAW. It intends to bring academia and activists closer to enrich the analysis and actions to strengthen the struggle against VAW in present globalized, militarized would with increasing fundamentalism. Dr. Mina Acharya, Senior Researcher, Economist, and Gender Expert Mohana Ansari Member of National Women Commission Raju Man Singh Malla Secretary of Prime Minister’s Office ADVOCACY UPDATE 4
  5. 5. January-April | 2013 Conclusion • All the patriarchal structure in state should be eliminated for transforming the transitional society into a just society. • There should be provisions of psychosocial counselors and care takers in every safe shelter for the survivors of violence. • The government should create a favorable environment for family reintegration or empowerment of survivors of violence to sustain their livelihood. • Theinvestigationdepartmentmustbe strengthened through establishment of strong structure and conceptualize doctors with Medico-legal issues. • Safe Shelters must be directed with human right approach and victimhood approach. • The issues of women should be addressed by the government through human right basedapproach rather than welfare approach. • The recommendations made through Makawanpur Declaration, 2013 on Violence against Women will be put forward for the further advocacy at policy level. Need, Possibility and Challenges of Fast Track Court1 in Nepal An interaction program on the need, possibility and challenges of Fast Track Court was jointly organized by the National Women's Commission, National Alliance of Women Human Rights Defenders and WOREC Nepal on 1st March 2013 at the National Women's Commission, Bhadrakali Plaza, Kathmandu, Nepal. The interaction program had the following objectives: • To discuss about the need, possibility and challenges to establish a Fast Track Court in Nepal. • To collect suggestions and feedbacks fromthestakeholdersontheoperation of the Fast Track Court.  1 Fast Track Court is special type of court set up for speedy trial in special cases where hearing is done either daily or without much delay. International Women’s Day ADVOCACY UPDATE 5
  6. 6. January-April | 2013 Representatives from the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare, National Women's Commission, Ministry of Law and Justice, Political Parties, Civil Society Organizations, Lawyers and Line agencies participated in the program and discussed about the immediate need of Fast Track Court in Nepal. Following were the major recommendations of the program: • Recently publicized cases of VAW need speedy justice. • Fast Track Court is an urgent need for the survivors of violence against women. • Modality for the operation of fast track court should be designed. • Comprehensive research should be carried out before establishing a Fast Track Court with developing short term and long term strategies. • In the absence of a Fast Track Court, juvenile court could be an alternative to look after cases related to VAW for the time being. • Nepal Bar Association should act as a focal point in establishing Fast Track Court. Roles and responsibilities to the concerned stakeholders and organizations should be divided accordingly. • Nepal Bar Association should form a committee to pressurize the Government of Nepal in establishing Fast Track Court as soon as possible. • At least one Fast Track Court should be established as a "model" so that it could be replicated in other parts of the country. ADVOCACY UPDATE 6
  7. 7. January-April | 2013 Rape law: its consequences and challenges their perspective.  A total of 64 people participated in the interaction program. Participants included representatives from the Nepal Bar Association, Civil Society Organizations, Lawyers, Line agencies and Media. Discussion focused on the immediate need of new amendments to Rape Law. Following were the major recommendations made by the program: • Fast Track Court is an urgent need for the victims of rape. For the time being one bench should be allocated to look after cases related to Violence against Women. • Lobbying and advocacy should be carried out to make GON responsible to amend a new rape law emphasizing A series of rape incidents and other forms of violence against women are increasing and are reported almost every day in leading newspapers of the country. Rape is a crime against humanity; and it must be punished. The Interim Constitution of Nepalhasguaranteedtherightofequality to women, however discrimination and violenceagainstwomenismanifestedina number of ways. There exist loopholes in the Nepalese criminal justice system that allows criminals to escape punishment. Though legislation against rape exists in Nepal, the law does not sufficiently address crime against humanity. There is a need of new amendments to Rape Law which has to be addressed immediately. In this regard, an interaction program on "Rape law: its consequences and challenges" was organized by WOREC Nepal on 13 March 2013 with the following objectives;  Objectives of the program • To discuss about the need for serious review and amendment of legal provision for the protection of the rape victims of Nepal. • To collect suggestions and feedbacks from the stakeholders to address the right to remedy of rape victim from ADVOCACY UPDATE 7
  8. 8. January-April | 2013 on victim and witness protection laws. • Apart from punishing criminals againsthumanity,asystemshould be developed for the prevention of the crime. • Comprehensive research should be carried out for the amendment of new rape law. • There should be the special women's desks at police stations and resourceful and skilled women police cells in all districts to support the survivors of sexual violence. Also, there is a need for women judge to hear such trials. • The provision of law should be strong to put the burden on the perpetrators while collecting evidences that they were not involved in such act rather than pressurizing the victim. • Sensitization of legal and health professional should be emphasized as they are the first contact persons for the victims whenever the incident takes place. ADVOCACY UPDATE 8
  9. 9. January-April | 2013 WOREC Nepal has been celebrating International Women’s Day with variousprograms.Itwascelebratedwith different programs in Siraha district too. In collaboration with Government and Non Government organizations, a mass rally was organized where about 300 people showed their solidarity by attending the rally. The program was started from Women and Children Office premise and ended in District Development Committe office. On the same day, an interaction program entitled “Situation of VAW and the victim’s access to Justice” was organized with concern stakeholders. In the program, Lekh Bahadur Katuwal from WOREC Nepal presented a paper on Violence against Women entitled “Situation of Women’s access to safety and justice”. The paper concluded that sustainable peace is possible only with the equal participation of women in the peace process. The paper further focuses on the increasing number of VAW cases like rape, acid burns, murder in the district due to the prolonged transitional period in the country. Likewise women right activist Shyam Shah presented an anaylitical paper on Rape Cases in Siraha since past five years. Advocate Om Kumari Shah presented a paper on new Law and policy for women’s participation and protection. Besides Advocate Gopichandra Bhattarai also presented a paper on National and international laws on Women. The participants of program viewed that ending the VAW is possible only with an effective implementation of law and equal support from male members. In Udayapur district WOREC Nepal, Katari and Triveni VDC, Chetansil Community Organization, Paraligal, Nari Kalyan Bachat tatha Rin Shahakari Sanstha collectively organized a rally, cultural program and street drama on the issues of women’s right. Celebration of International Women’s Day (8 March) ADVOCACY UPDATE 9Programs organized in Udayapur
  10. 10. January-April | 2013 On the same day in Gaighat, Udayapur Declaration was prepared in recognition of women’s work, ensuring their economic right and to end view. Four major political parties namely Nepali Congress, CPN Maoist, CPN Local Leaders for Change honoured In Siraha, Women right activists and working women from the community were honoured for their efforts in a program entitled “the Situation of VAW and the victim’s access to Justice”. The honored activists were Sunita Rasaili, Pramila Mukhia, Gita Shah, Sunita Das, Shanti Paswan, Sunita Yadav, Puna Shah, Phool Kumari Shrestha, Bina Devi Yadav, America Sada, Bimala Devi Mahato, Pawan Devi Mahara, Laxmi Kumari Yadav, Jagiya Mallik and Bimala Kuset. Women Human Right Defenders and activists (from Udayapur district) Sharmila Majhi, Divamaya Shrestha, Thagmaya Shrestha, Kamal Kumari Bhujel, Sarita Pariya, Deti Kumar, Kumari Khadka, Januka Dhami and Sita Shah were honored in a program. Women Right Activists and the local leaders who had been fighting continuously against violence against women and to ensure women’s right, health and education rights were honoured in diffrent programs in Siraha and Udayapur. Organizing committee for the celebrationofInternationalWomen’s Day in Udayapur honored Seti Maya Ale, Karna Maya Magar, Dev Kumari Phuyal, Aruna Chaudhary and other three women were honoured in the program. (UML), Nepal Ekata Kendra showed their solidarity signing the declaration in a program organized in Udayapur. WOREC also participated in a joint rally in Kathmandu, Udayapur, Dang, Kailali and Biratnagar. ADVOCACY UPDATE 10 Programs organized in Udayapur, Kathmandu and Siraha respectively from left to right
  11. 11. January-April | 2013 research, which will ultimately give recommendation to the government. Organizations involved in the project/ research are Women Forum for Women in Nepal (WOFOWON, women engaged in entertainment sector), LOOM Nepal (Youngwomenledwomen'sorganization), Mahila Ekta Samaj (Women organization from squatters of Kathmandu and led by women from the squatter themselves), Nepal Disabled Women Association (NDWA, organization working for disabled women's right), Sahayatri Samaj Nepal (Organization working for rural women's right) and Mukti Nepal (A community-based women organization from southern part of Nepal i.e. Terai). All together there were 14 participants in Workshop on DOVA WOREC Nepal organized the first training of DOVA in Nepal from 29th of April to the 3rd of May to create an appropriate mechanism to ensure the Human Rights of women suffering from domestic violence and for the protection and prevention of domestic violence in the country. Loeky Droesen the writer of DOVA was the main facilitator. Participants represented a wide variety of the Nepali population including marginalized groups such as women working in the entertainment industry, women living with disabilities and rural women. They revealed that DOVA research would support their work in one and other way and would help to strengthen evidence-based ADVOCACY UPDATE 11
  12. 12. January-April | 2013 the training. DOVA is the unique instrument developed to Aim for human rights. The network member organizations for DOVA are from Europe, Africa, Latin America and Asia. WOREC is one of the partners from Asia; and contributed to the development of this instrument. DOVA was developed to respond to the need of Human Right organizations working on domestic violence for evidence based advocacy and to support the government to fulfil the due diligence. The DOVA research instrument was launched first time in Nepal. DOVA was launched formally with Chief Guest His Excellency Glen White, Ambassador of Australian Embassy and Ms Marianne White on 3rd May 2013 at Kathmandu along with the representatives from National Women Commission (NWC), NHRC (National Human Rights Commission), Department of Police, media personnel and other civil society organizations. ADVOCACY UPDATE 12 His Excellency Glen White, Ambassador of Australian Embassy and Ms Marianne White launching the DOVA
  13. 13. January-April | 2013 WOREC Nepal participated in the 57th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) at United Nations Headquarters in New York from 4 to 15 March 2013. Dr. Renu Rajbhandari, Founder Chairperson of WOREC Nepal and Chairperson of National Alliance of Women Human Rights Defenders (NAWHRDs) shared the need of DOVA – theHumanRightsAssessmentInstrument on Domestic Violence. WOREC is a co- developer of DOVA that will support the government to develop appropriate mechanisms to ensure the human rights of women. This unique instrument will also guide the civil society to carry out action and rights-based policy research on domestic violence.  On 7th  of March about 60 people participated in the workshop: “Making our Domestic Violence laws work in practice”. A quick survey of the participants showed all the continents of the globe were represented, with the exception of the Pacific, and more than half the participants worked in practice providing services to victims/survivors of Domestic Violence. Most of the participants also did lobby and advocacy at the national level and a slightly lower number at the international level. In most of the countries, often as a result of a strong lobby by women’s rights groups, governments have adopted Domestic Violence legislation and often developed action plans as well. But as many participants in the workshop confirmed, the implementation of these laws and policies is weak in practice. The hosts of the workshop- Rights for Change, the Netherlands; WOREC, Nepal and Masimanyane, South Africa shared experiences as co-developers of The Human Rights assessment instrument on Domestic Violence, DOVA. CSW workshop: Holding your government accountable for stopping Domestic Violence ADVOCACY UPDATE 13
  14. 14. January-April | 2013 22nd General Assembly of WOREC elected new Executive Committee on 10th of Feb, 2013. The composition of EC is as follows: Ms. Saraj Gurung- Chairperson, Ms. Bindu Gautam- Vice Chairperson, Ms. Bina Pokharel- Secretary, Ms. Shova Yadav- Treasurer and Ms. Anusuiya Saha, Ms. Mandira Danuwar, Shiva Maya Tumbahamphe, Bindra Maharjan, and Jyotsna Maskay as members. The new members were nominated as representatives of women's movement including their diverse experiences, varied skills and expertise on thematic issues and management, and commitment towards human rights and social justice. Legal procedure training Legal procedure and advocacy training was organized byWORECinKailaliinordertoincreasetheknowledge of community women. The objective of the program was to provide the knowledge regarding procedural laws and policy and to carry out the advocacy on VAW. There was active participation of 26 women in the program from different VDCs of Kailali. The program was coordinated by District Coordinator of WOREC Nepal, Sangita Adhikari with other staffs Sankutala Chaudhary and advocate Devilal Chaudhary. Participants of the program viewed they have faced many problems due to lack of knowledge of current existing laws of Nepal. Moreover,they opined that knowledge related to laws and policies should be widespread in the community too. The training covered information related to Gender Based Violence, law and its importance, the process of registration of the case and its documentation process and further methods of advocacy on VAW. The program had been conducted by Binu Rana of WOREC Nepal. WOREC elects new Executive Committee ADVOCACY UPDATE 14
  15. 15. January-April | 2013 Transformation of traditional village into eco-village Transformation of traditional villages into eco-villages is introduced in the working districts of WOREC Nepal in cooperation with AEI, Luxembourg (Udayapur, Siraha, Dang and Salyan) and ICCO, the Netherland (Udayapur and Siraha). Dr. Binayak P. Rajbhandari has been providing conceptual as well as technical guidance to these programs. WOREC focuses on more on bio-intensive farming system in agriculture for enhancing the food security and sustainable livelihood of the resource poor farmers through the maximum utilization of the natural resources. Besides bio-intensive farming system WOREC has been working on environmental protection through the minimization of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, increases in agricultural production and productivity, end violence against women, end discrimination against children, build social harmony in homes and communities, economic security for households and communities and political commitment to gender equality and social justice. For this WOREC has been conducting the following activities in Dang, Siraha and Udayapur district: orientations, importance and conservation of local seeds, importance of kitchen gardens, bio-intensive farming system, making compost, making bio-pesticides, importance and need of eco village, land right and food security, animal health and shed management, role of bif to adapt climate change, bio-intensive farming system, social mapping, baseline survey, social audit, coordination meeting with stakeholders, meeting with farmers, support for drinking water, farmer field school, building improved shed , formation of youth group, swine support, seed support and mobile veterinary services. A total of 4846 local people have benifitted from the programme. Likewise, WOREC Nepal organized 5 days financial management training to all the four partner organizations of Salyan district. The participants of the training were basically the Accountants, Program Coordinators and board members which was organised in community training and resource centre of Tarigaun-3, Paddha, Dang. Altogether 13 staffs from four different organizations participated in the training. The main objectives of the training were (i) to enhance knowledge of the partner organizations for financial management, (ii) develop the capacity of the partner organizations to keep the ADVOCACY UPDATE 15
  16. 16. January-April | 2013 financial records systematically, (iii) know about the finance keeping system of partner organizations and enhance their capacity to keep financial record as per AEI’s format. The methodologies followed for the training are: group discussions/work, lecture and experience sharing. The training was good and provided many new ideas to the partner organizations on financial management. The financial recording system was found to be quite weak of the partner organizations. Therefore there is a need of organizing the refresher training to all the partner organisations. Bio-intensive farming system and sustainable livelihoods WOREC Nepal with the financial assistance from AEI, Luxembourg and with the coordination from Tdh, Germany has been implementing the project entitled “Sustainable Transformation of Agricultural Systems for Enhancing Livelihood Security of Subsistence Farmers in Salyan District” since January, 2013 through partner organisations in five VDCs of Salyan district. In view of the factthatthisisanewagricultureproject in Salyan, WOREC organised five day training to the partner organisations on Bio-intensive farming system and sustainable livelihoods. The training was conducted in WOREC’s Community Training and Resource Prepared by: Ramesh Bhandari Published by: WOREC Nepal, P.O.Box:13233, Kathmandu, Nepal, Tel: 977-1-5006373, Fax: 977-1-5006271 Email:, URL: Centre at Paddha, Tarigaun-4, Dang. The training mainly focused on comparative analysis of bio-intensive farming system and chemical farming system, promotion, protection and management of soil fertility, importance of cropping pattern and conservation of bio-diversity, integrated pest management, mixed farming system and agriculture cooperatives and market management. Altogether 19 people participated in the training including the board members of each organisation, JTAs and social mobilisers. The discussions with the participants at the end of the training showed that the participants were very enthusiastic on bio-intensive farming system. They expressed commitments to work on enhancing the food security and sustainable livelihood of the farmers in targeted VDCs and ecovillages through the approach of bio-intensive farming system. Editor: Dr. Binayak P. Rajbhandari ADVOCACY UPDATE 16