For Pratima Gurung from Nepal, empowering indigenous women with disabilities starts with making them count as active participants and decision-makers, not just observers of decisions. She points to the need to strengthen their voices in disability fora, as well as indigenous peoples’ fora.
” I became disabled at seven, when I lost my hand in a truck accident. Suddenly, everything changed. People had different perceptions about my future—what I should do and not do, whether I should go to school, or whether I should get married.
Among the small amount of funding allocated to minority groups in Nepal, only a fraction of it goes to protecting indigenous peoples’ rights and issues. Indigenous peoples comprise more than 35% of Nepal’s population, and persons with disabilities make up 1.96% of that population, with the actual number likely higher. But the involvement of all these groups in social, political, economic and decision-making issues is minimal. In addition, the current constitution does not ensure and protect full and effective participation of all indigenous peoples at all levels. Indeed, during the drafting of the constitution, indigenous peoples, women, Dalits, Madhesis, and other minority groups and their specific issues were deliberately excluded from the process, with a resulting document that violated their fundamental human rights.
Empowerment, disability, education, community-based monitoring and information systems (CBMIS), climate finance, livelihoods and traditional occupation, and peacekeeping are tackled in this edition. Inspiring stories of indigenous women, discussions and analysis provide a broader picture into these particular areas that concern indigenous women.
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