|Young women’s Position Paper 2015 was prepared from the consultation process during the Young Women Caucus held on Jan. 31 2015 in Kathmandu and was submitted to the govenment delegates attending the 59th session of Comission on Status of Women. The statement was submitted in the policy dialogue, whose participants comprised a subset of the participants from the Young Women’s Caucus as well as representatives from relevant government agencies such as the National Planning Commission, the Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP), the Ministry of Education, and the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare and other members of CSO who were supposed to attend the 59th session of CSW (Commission on the status of women).
Half day long consultation was a sort of intergenerational dialogue with the government and CSO delegate to CSW and young activist. The outcome of the young women caucus, position paper along with the key recommendations was handed over to the delegates attending the CSW. Their feedback, comments and commitment was assured from the individual delegate. The entire program was chaired by the Secretary of the Ministry of Women, Children and social Welfare Ms. Dhan Bhadur Tamang. Mr. Tamang assured us of Nepal’s commitment in improving the SRHR of women and also addressing the issues surrounding the key affected population. The position paper was welcomed by all the delegates. The program was also addressed by the Chair of the National Network of Beijing Review Ms. Bandana Rana, who was so supportive of the young women collective effort on bringing out the pressing issues surrounding young women.
Ms. Bandana NNBN
There was tremendous positive feedback for the effort of young people from the delegates.
I WILL DO MY BEST AS GOVERNMENT DELEGATE TO HIGHLIGHT THE ISSUES OF YOUNG WOMEN’S SRHR DURING THE CSW FROM GOVERNMENT OF NEPAL.
Joint-Secretary, Ministry of Women, Children and Social Affairs
Ms. Radhika Aryal on her remarks and future committment !!
The stattement is given here with :
Facilitator of the program and the coordinator of the project Ms.Smriti handed over the outcome of the project.
We, the young women, men and people of different sexual orientation and gender identities from Nepal gathered together at a ‘Young Women Caucus’ to discuss the key issues surrounding young women in Nepal with the focus on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights. The caucus collectively agreed that there has been some progress since the Beijing Platform for Action in the areas of comprehensive education, participation of young women in decision making process, access to health services, and reduction of harmful traditional practice. However, we are well aware that significant gaps and challenges remain. The limited access to the health services, unavailability of youth and gender friendly services, discriminatory practices and behavior of the service provider against women and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) showcases problems in field of health sector in Nepal. Likewise, low participation of young women in both national and community level political decision making processes illustrates gaps at an institutional level. Discrimination and Violence against young women has not been able to decrease and has manifested in diverse forms and shapes.
And it is because of this diverse and dynamic nature of these problems, we came together to discuss key issues of Nepalese young women in SRHR in line with 12 critical areas of concern of the Beijing Platform for Action so as to recommend the following issues to be prioritized at the 59th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW).
1. Reaffirm Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights of all young women; particularly ensuring the rights of the key affected young women and girls – young women and girls who are living with HIV, young female sex workers, young women and girls who use drugs, transgender individuals, mobile and migrant young women, young female prisoners, young women with disabilities, through meaningful participation.
2. Ensure young women and girls, especially key affected young population’s access to friendly, non–discriminatory, affordable, non–judgmental and gender sensitive quality Sexual and Reproductive Health services, especially access to stigma free abortion services and modern contraceptives to promote, protect and fulfill the human rights of young women and girls. To serve this purpose, ensure the quality and number of adolescent and youth friendly services and create necessary mechanisms for supervision and monitoring of these services.
3. Ensure access of every young women and girls to comprehensive sexuality education based on their evolving capacity as their human rights, through its inclusion and proper implementation in school curriculum; community based awareness program; youth led mass media.
4. Emphasize the full and effective implementation of awareness programs on Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights including SRHR laws, policies and programs set by the government through further capacity building of the service providers.
5. Remove discrimination based on gender in matters relating to identity and citizenship in law and practice. Address issues of LGBTI citizenship, passport and property ownership so as to curtail their vulnerability for violence and increase their access to services.
6. Adopt necessary measures to end all forms of Gender Based Discrimination and Violence against young women and girls in different contexts, settings, circumstances and relationship—including sexual harassment, violence and exploitation—and reaffirm commitment to the universal ratification and full implementation of the Convention on Elimination of All forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). Encourage male participation while addressing the issue of violence.
7. Make efforts to remove structural barriers like poverty and other forms of inequalities; and address specific needs and priorities of young women and adolescent girls by facilitating their empowerment, guaranteeing equal access to opportunities and resources and ensuring their meaningful participation in leadership and decision making as well as designing, implementation and monitoring of related national and international programs.
8. Strongly discourage and take appropriate action to prevent and end traditional and harmful cultural practices based on norms, customs and socio–cultural prejudices especially early and forced child marriages by enforcing laws to prohibit marriage without full and informed consent, including increasing awareness on laws and effective prosecution.
9. Encourage the participation of more young women and girls in media and ensure their safety during their work. Furthermore, emphasize on the gender sensitive portrayal of young women and girls in media by encouraging more young women and girls empowered images in all forms of media.
10. Ensure young women’s leadership in conflict situations, climate change and natural disasters to address young women and girls’ needs and problems, especially violation of their sexual and reproductive health and rights in such crisis situation. Also, ensure that national climate change responses adequately and effectively mainstream the differentiated needs of women and girl impacted by disaster and the national climate change responses.
11. Recognize the importance of women human rights defenders and nongovernmental organizations in strengthening state commitment for gender equality, human rights and empowerment of young women and girls. In doing so, also work in collaboration with other organizations that address the 12 areas of Platform of action.
12. Encourage involvement of young men and boys for the realization of gender equality, human rights and empowerment of young women and girls. In doing so, design and implement plans, policies and programs and school curriculum that aims to change the attitude of young men and boys towards gender equality and empowerment.
13. Ensure that the abovementioned issues on young women’s human rights, sexual and reproductive health rights, gender equality and elimination of all forms of discrimination and violence are adequately addressed and reflected in the Post 2015 Development Framework, through inclusion in goals, targets and qualitative indicators.
Young Women’s Position Paper 2015
Prepared from the consultation process during the Young Women Caucus held on Jan. 31 2015 in Kathmandu.
BY SMRITI THAPA