Gender Equity for Women with Disabilities in Nepal: Challenges and Recommendations

Women With Disabilities in Nepal Face Multiple Layers of Discrimination

Author: Jalasa Sapkota - Contact: Contact Details
Published: 2023/04/08 - Updated: 2024/02/20
Publication Type: Paper / Essay
Contents: Summary - Main - Related Publications

Synopsis: Article provides an overview of challenges faced by women with disabilities in Nepal when it comes to gender equity, discrimination, lack of access to education and employment opportunities, and limited access to healthcare services. Gender equity for women with disabilities in Nepal is crucial for their empowerment, inclusion, and overall well-being. According to a study conducted by the World Bank in 2019, women with disabilities in Nepal have lower education levels, less access to healthcare, and are less likely to participate in the labor force.

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Introduction

Women with disabilities in Nepal face multiple layers of discrimination due to their gender and disability status. According to the National Federation of the Disabled-Nepal (NFDN), women with disabilities are among the most marginalized groups in the country, with limited access to education, healthcare, and employment opportunities. Moreover, they are often subjected to violence, abuse, and neglect, which further exacerbates their vulnerability. In this article, I will be discussing the necessity for gender equity for women with disabilities in Nepal, the challenges they face, practical recommendations for improvement and example from South-Asia.

Necessity for Gender Equity for Women with Disabilities in Nepal

Gender equity for women with disabilities in Nepal is crucial for their empowerment, inclusion, and overall well-being. Women with disabilities are more likely to experience poverty, social exclusion, and discrimination compared to their male counterparts. According to a study conducted by the World Bank in 2019, women with disabilities in Nepal have lower education levels, less access to healthcare, and are less likely to participate in the labor force. This results in lower income and higher dependency on family members or social welfare schemes. In addition, women with disabilities are at a higher risk of violence, abuse, and neglect. According to a report by Human Rights Watch, women and girls with disabilities in Nepal face multiple forms of violence, including sexual abuse, physical violence, and forced sterilization. These violations are often overlooked, and the survivors are not provided with adequate support and redress.

Challenges for Gender Equity for Women with Disabilities in Nepal

The challenges faced by women with disabilities in Nepal are manifold and complex. Some of the key challenges include:

1. Intersectionality: Women with disabilities in Nepal face multiple forms of discrimination and marginalization based on their disability, gender, caste, ethnicity, and other factors. This further exacerbates the challenges they face and limits their ability to participate in society.

2. Lack of Accessibility: Women with disabilities in Nepal face significant barriers to accessing education, healthcare, and employment opportunities. The physical environment, transportation, and information and communication technologies (ICTs) are not designed to meet their needs.

3. Negative Attitudes and Stereotypes: Women with disabilities are often stigmatized and discriminated against due to negative attitudes and stereotypes. They are perceived as a burden on the family, and their abilities and potentials are not recognized.

4. Economic Empowerment: Women with disabilities face significant economic barriers, such as lack of access to credit, training, and entrepreneurship opportunities. This limits their ability to generate income and contribute to the economy, which can lead to further marginalization and poverty.

5. Gender-based Violence: Women with disabilities in Nepal are at a higher risk of experiencing gender-based violence, including physical, sexual, and emotional abuse. They also face barriers in reporting such violence and accessing support services.

6. Limited Representation: Women with disabilities are underrepresented in decision-making processes and are not included in policy development and implementation.

7. Lack of Adequate Support and Services: Women with disabilities do not have access to adequate support and services, including assistive devices, rehabilitation centers, and training programs. This hinders their ability to participate in society and achieve their full potential.

Recommendations for Gender Equity for Women with Disabilities in Nepal

To address the challenges faced by women with disabilities in Nepal, the following recommendations should be considered:

1. Developing and implementing disability-inclusive policies and programs that address the unique needs and challenges faced by women with disabilities. These policies should prioritize gender equity, social inclusion, and accessibility in all areas of life, including education, employment, healthcare, and transportation.

2. Increasing awareness and understanding of disability and gender equity among the general public, including policymakers, employers, and community members. This can be achieved through awareness-raising campaigns, training programs, and public education initiatives that promote a positive and inclusive view of disability and gender equity.

3. Providing equal access to education for women with disabilities, including early childhood education, primary, secondary, and tertiary education. This should include accessible infrastructure, teaching materials, and teacher training to ensure that women with disabilities have equal access to quality education.

4. Promoting the economic empowerment of women with disabilities by providing them with opportunities for skills development, vocational training, and entrepreneurship. This can be achieved through government policies, financial support, and partnerships with the private sector.

5. Addressing the issue of violence against women with disabilities by providing them with legal protection and support services. This includes strengthening laws and policies that protect women with disabilities from violence, providing them with access to justice, and increasing awareness of their rights and the support available to them.

6. Encouraging meaningful participation of women with disabilities in decision-making processes at all levels, including in politics, governance, and civil society. This can be achieved by ensuring that women with disabilities have equal access to information, resources, and opportunities to participate in decision-making processes.

7. Developing and implementing strategies to ensure that women with disabilities have equal access to healthcare services, including reproductive health services. This should include providing accessible healthcare facilities, training healthcare providers, and increasing awareness of the healthcare needs of women with disabilities.

Examples from South Asia

Gender equity for women with disabilities is a global issue, and several countries in South Asia have taken steps to address it. For example, India has enacted the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act in 2016, which includes provisions for promoting gender equity and protecting the rights of women with disabilities. The Act mandates that at least 5% of all government schemes and programs are reserved for women with disabilities. Additionally, the government of India has established a National Action Plan for the Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, which aims to promote their inclusion and empowerment in various spheres of life. Similarly, Bangladesh has made strides in promoting gender equity for women with disabilities. The country has adopted a National Policy on Disability in 2015, which recognizes the rights of persons with disabilities, including women, and seeks to ensure their full and equal participation in society. The policy also calls for the establishment of a disability-inclusive education system and the provision of accessible healthcare services for persons with disabilities, including women.

Conclusion

In summing up, the imperative of gender equity for women with disabilities in Nepal cannot be overstated as it is paramount for their empowerment, inclusion, and holistic welfare. Although the multifarious challenges faced by these women are formidable, the actionable recommendations proposed in this article, in conjunction with the exemplars from South Asia, furnish a navigational route for advancing gender equity and enhancing the quality of life for women with disabilities in Nepal and beyond. The onus lies on the government, civil society organizations, organizations of person living with disabilities, and the wider community to collaborate in ensuring that women with disabilities are endowed with their inalienable rights and are enabled to participate fully in all spheres of society.

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About the Author

Jalasa Sapkota is a writer, researcher and disability rights activist. Explore Jalasa's complete biography for comprehensive insights into her background, expertise, and accomplishments.

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Cite This Page (APA): Jalasa Sapkota. (2023, April 8). Gender Equity for Women with Disabilities in Nepal: Challenges and Recommendations. Disabled World. Retrieved April 15, 2024 from www.disabled-world.com/disability/blogs/nepal-women.php

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