The Nepal Citizens' Hearing
A Citizen Hearing was held in Nepal on 30th March 2015.
The key focus was on setting stand-alone goals for women’s rights – especially reproductive rights. The second key focus was on identifying Accountability Mechanisms to the goals that the Government will become signatory to. These mechanisms will be identified at all levels – locally, nationally, regionally and globally.
Safe Motherhood Network Federation (WRA Nepal) ran a series of hearings involving MPs and decision makers as well as representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and partners from NGOs and CSOs including professional organisations and the Red Cross Nepal. The Hearing was featured on National News.
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Hon. Mr. Mahendra Pandey said at the Hearing that he would take the recommendations and discussions into consideration at national and international levels.
Hon. Ravi Aryal, Joint Secretary, Parliamentary Secretariat also said ‘conclusions from the National Hearing should be taken up by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and lobbied for at the international level’.
Issues discussed and recommendations:
• Ensuring a multi-sector focus is essential – e.g. links to education and age appropriate comprehensive education was emphasised.
• Introduce ways to regulate the National Planning Commission (NPC)
• Taking recommendations to the New York Mission to include in SDG agenda
• There is a need to make Family Planning effective. There is an absence of district plans in this regard.
• Incorporating views of women, children and adolescent’s into health planning
• Strong need to integrate education programmes particularly for marginalized groups.
• Issue of safe abortion must be raised in the SDGs
• Lack of education and health education are barriers to accessing services
• Social marginalisation and discrimination
• Reproductive Health Rights of the adolescents is important for all nations, and Nepal should put these issues very strongly in the SDGs.
• Youth bulge is currently high. Must be clear on how to address their needs – it is a voice that must be taken up by Nepal
• Sexual and reproductive health and rights - informing communities on their rights and empowering women and marginalised people
• Reproductive Health rights are challenging when there is no equality. There is a strong need to look into our social and religious contexts, and our mindsets.
• Addressing the rights of the child through prevention of sex selective abortion, legal provisions, and scientific development, along with ensuring women-friendly environments
• Laws are passed but there is lack of implementation
• Address perception that women, laws and health are separate
• Advocacy effort required from Parliamentarians