Consultation meeting with stakeholders; OPDs & Disability Sister Wings of Political Parties

Published on: August 10, 2023

Center for Independent Living of Persons with Disabilities (CIL-Kathmandu) organized a Discussion/Interaction program with representatives from major political parties in Baneshwor, Kathmandu, on July 31st, 2023. The primary objective of this program was to seek suggestions from persons with disabilities who actively serve as leaders within their respective political parties, to promote the political rights of individuals with disabilities in Nepal.

Mr. Manish Prasai, a Disability Rights Expert, presented the findings of his secondary qualitative research study, which examined the political parties’ constitutions, regulations, and manifestos during election periods, aiming to influence the public’s vote for their candidates. The research revealed some progress in promoting disability rights and inclusion in certain political parties’ manifestos, regulations, and constitutions. Additionally, in 2017, the country enacted the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act to safeguard the political rights and interests of persons with disabilities. However, the implementation and enforcement of the Act have posed challenges for the disability rights movement.

During the discussion, many participants expressed doubts about the attitudes of current leaders responsible for drafting political documents and manifestos for their parties. Participants shared similar opinions, likening the perception of political parties to that of the Charity-based model prevalent during the Renaissance Period. The program also addressed issues related to the fragmented disability movement and its impact on reservations, capacity building budgets, and fluctuations in social security.

One proud moment for CIL Kathmandu during the program was the active participation of individuals representing different intersectionality, such as the LGBTQI community and leprosy survivors. Two persons, have hard of hearing disability and are part of the LGBTQI community, have established the Rainbow Disability Nepal organization, which aims to raise awareness about intersectionality, gain acceptance from the community, and foster a sense of belonging within society. Their participation in the program provided valuable feedback to CIL-Kathmandu, contributing to future discourse. Similarly, the leprosy survivors emphasized the importance of inviting individuals from diverse backgrounds, providing ample learning opportunities, and fostering solidarity to achieve an independent and inclusive society.

The informal discussion program concluded with the recognition of the significance of fully emancipated political participation. It highlighted the need for solidarity among all disability rights activists, regardless of their ideologies. They must work together to sensitize political parties comprehensively, develop extensive advocacy plans, and execute them effectively, thereby promoting inclusivity within all central political parties and their wings.