Print Edition - 2015-12-20  |  News

LGBTI community urges lawmakers not to ignore their issues

- Post Report, Kathmandu
Major leap for minority group- Nepal’s history of LGBTI is fairly encouraging, and it is considered to be one of the most liberal countries in the region when it comes to gay rights- In 2008, Sunil Babu Pant became the first gay parliamentarian- In 2011, Nepal added a third gender category to its census- In January 2013, Nepal introduced a third gender category for transgender people applying for citizenship cards- In August this year, the government started issuing passports under the “Other” category - The constitution states that no one shall be discriminated on the basis of their sexual orientation

Dec 20, 2015- LGBTI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersexuals) community has urged lawmakers to make sure that their rights are ensured through the Gender Equality Bill and other to-be-formulated laws. 

Miffed at the government for its failure to include them in a manual that was published to inform people about the constitution, LGBTI advocates have requested lawmakers from different parties to pledge that such slips do not occur in future.
“The constitution has clearly recognised our existence and ensured our right to equality, social justice and citizenship among others, but the handbook, which talks about the rights of single women, Dalits, differently-abled and other marginalised groups, has missed out LGBTI people. This has instilled fear into our minds whether the government and parties are not taking us and our issues seriously,” said Manisha Dhakal, Executive Director of Blue Diamond Society, which works for the LGBTI community in Nepal.
The LGBTI community is also concerned about being left out in the Gender Equality Bill. 
According to Dhakal, the first draft of the bill had failed to specifically mention “third gender” in many of its clauses and focused more on women. 
Nepal’s history of LGBTI is fairly encouraging, and it is considered to be one of the most liberal countries in the region when it comes to gay rights. 
In 2008, Sunil Babu Pant became the first gay parliamentarian. In 2011, Nepal added a third gender category to its census, and earlier this year, the government agreed to issue passports that would insert an “O” for “other” in the gender check box. 
The constitution states that no one shall be discriminated on the basis of their sexual orientation. 
Despite the significant progress made by Nepal, the minority community is still struggling to get fair treatment, say the advocates. 
Even during the 16-day campaign against gender-based violence, they say, they were completely left out. “We attended a lot of programmes and rallies to support the campaign but no one spoke for us. There is a tendency to assume that gender-based violence happens only to women, and most of the programmes on GBV are women-centric and we are always left out,” said Dhakal.

Despite significant progress made by Nepal, the minority group is still struggling to get fair treatment


 

Published: 20-12-2015 09:21

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