A formal submission to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) to contribute to the elaboration of a General Recommendation on Rural Women under the Convention. The submission highlights the specific circumstances of indigenous women and the need to focus on achieving coherence between CEDAW and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
The contours of “New Nepal” we all dream of cannot be shaped without appropriately addressing the concerns being raised by the indigenous women, who comprise half the female population. Traditionally, these women enjoyed greater degree of freedom and socioeconomic status than those from the so-called high caste Hindu groups such as Bahun, Chhetri, and Thakuri, who were restricted by pervasive patriarchy and religious orthodoxy. Unlike these women of the Indo-Aryan origin, the indigenous women were adept in handicrafts and other enterprises and freely participated in socio-cultural events. They faced no restriction during menstruation and were even free to choose their life partner and to remarry if they became single. They were also less affected by the dowry system.
This submission had been made jointly by the Nepal Indigenous Women’s Federation (NIWF), the Lawyer’s Association for the Human Rights of Nepal’s Indigenous Peoples (LAHURNIP) and by the Forest Peoples Programme (FPP).
In July, the 49th Session of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) met in New York. Indigenous women in Nepal, under the umbrella of the Nepal Indigenous Women’s Federation (NIWF), attended the session for the first time to defend and explain the findings that they had presented to the Committee in their Shadow Report.
The report was supported also by the Lawyer’s Association for the Human Rights of Nepal’s Indigenous Peoples (LAHURNIP) and by the Forest Peoples Programme, and represented the first national level, self-researched and written, report on the status of indigenous women in the newly emerging Nepalese republic.
El 49. º período de sesiones del Comité para la Eliminación de la Discriminación contra la Mujer (CEDAW por sus siglas en inglés) se celebró en julio en Nueva York. Las mujeres indígenas de Nepal, representadas por la Federación de Mujeres Indígenas de Nepal (NIWF), asistieron por primera vez a estas reuniones para defender y explicar las conclusiones que habían presentado al Comité en su informe paralelo.
Dicho informe también fue respaldado por la Asociación de Abogados para los Derechos Humanos de los Pueblos Indígenas de Nepal (LAHURNIP) y por el Forest Peoples Programme (Programa para los Pueblos de los Bosques), y fue el primer informe de ámbito nacional redactado por las propias mujeres y basado en una investigación realizada por ellas mismas sobre la situación de las mujeres indígenas en la recientemente creada república nepalesa.
A shadow report to the 49th Session of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), jointly submitted by the National Indigenous Women's Federation (NIWF), the Lawyers' Association for Human Rights of Nepalese Indigenous Peoples (LAHURNIP) and Forest Peoples Programme (FPP).