United Nations
Information Centre | Nepal
Violence against Madheshi Dalit Women in Dhanusa & Mahottari districts - Issue 39
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Cultural and social inequalities are often used as motivational factors to mobilize political and social movements in Nepal and the decade long armed conflict “capitalized on caste and gender discrimination
in Nepal as a means of legitimizing the armed revolution”. The Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) of 2006, in sections 3.5 and 7.6.14, explicitly calls for an end to discrimination and abuse against women, and to eliminate all types of violence against women and children, including child labour as well as sexual exploitation. More than five years after its signing, many traditionally marginalized groups remain de facto voiceless with few visible signs of improvement in their status, and Madheshi Dalit women are a prominent example of this. Vulnerably positioned at the bottom of Nepal’s caste, class and gender hierarchies, Madheshi Dalit women experience widespread and deeply-rooted gender as well as caste discrimination and violence as a
result of profoundly imbalanced social, economic and political power equations. This field bulletin sets out to document some of the factors triggering discrimination and high exposure of violence amongst Madheshi Dalit women in Dhanusa and Mahottari districts, and the abuse that is allowed to perpetuate through a culture of silence. Dalit population represents 11.8%5
of the total population of Nepal, of which Madheshi Dalit make up
36.7%6. In addition to being at the bottom of caste, class, and gender hierarchies, they lag far behind on almost all development indicators. The average per capita income for Dalits is NRs 10.000, poverty rate
45.5 % and human development index - for Madheshi Dalits specifically- 0.383 as the lowest in Nepal, against the national averages of NRs 15.000, 31% and 0.509 respectively. They own only 1% of arable land and 44% of them are landless. Members of the Madheshi Dalit community in Dhanusa noted that even those who own land only possess enough to build a thatch hut or lesS.
The Interim Constitution of 2007 stipulates that there “shall be no discrimination in the application of general laws against any citizens based on caste, and that the State shall also not discriminate on such ground”. It also prohibits racial discrimination and untouchability in any form, as well as the
UNRCHCO ,   (2012 )
Type / Script:
Bulletin or Poster in English
Thematic Group:
 UNRCHCO (UNRCO) : UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator Office (UN Resident Coordinator Office)
14.05.03  -  Social Development
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