Nothing about us, without us

Published: August 1, 2014

In a true democracy the main mantra to ensure inclusion is ‘nothing about us without us’. But, too often in Nepal, for the marginalised it is always ‘there is nothing for us and it’s always without us’.

From 2009-2012, Nepal’s gender minorities were invited for their inputs into national policy and budget. But since then there hasn’t been a single rupee allocated in the budget to support gender minorities. This year, too, the NC-UML coalition left us out of the Red Book.

When taxing citizens the government does not discriminate, but when assuring citizens of their rights, the government wants to know your gender. And if you are third gender, you cannot go to school, you cannot get a passport, you cannot get married, you cannot apply for job, you cannot join the police/army/bureaucracy, you cannot access a loan or development programs, you cannot open your business or register your property.

There has been a worrying trend of sidelining the needs and rights of Nepal’s LGBT population in the last few years, and the government is regressing from its previous progress through activism and Supreme Court decisions.

The Law Ministry, under the NC’s Narhari Acharya, is trying to enact punitive laws that re-criminalise LGBT relationships, completely overturning previous Supreme Court decisions. After the first Constituent Assemblywas dissolved in 2012, there is not a single person from the third gender community in the bureaucracy, ministry, parliament or any other decision-making level.

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