A recent survey of sexual and gender people of color in Nepal reveals that more than 60 percent of respondents reported experiencing abuse or discrimination.
Over one-third reported discrimination or abuse in at least three public settings, according to the report released by the Williams Institute and the Blue Diamond Society.
The survey utilized Nepal’s inclusion of a third gender category in its national census, the first such attempt in the world. Nearly 1,200 respondents were recruited by trained BDS outreach workers whose aim was to study the identity, demographics, and experiences of sexual and gender minorities in Nepal. The study participants came from 32 of Nepal’s 75 districts, spoke Nepali, Bhojpuri, and Maithill, were primarily Hindu, and included individuals from 150 caste and ethnic groups.
“This study documents the experiences of Nepal’s sexual minority community and is a critical foundation for the development of appropriate policies by the government,” said Sunil Pant, founder of the Blue Diamond Society.
“While Nepal is often cited as a progressive country in Asia having guaranteed equal rights and recognition of sexual and gender minorities through a landmark Supreme Court verdict in 2007, Nepal’s progress in protecting the rights of these minorities and implementing the verdict has been limited,” stated Edmund Settle, UNDP Policy Advisor at the Bangkok Regional Hub. “This study demonstrates that specific anti-discrimination provisions which protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people are lacking and often not enforced.”
The survey reveals that LGBT people in Nepal continue to face a wide range of obstacles both from an individual perspective and as a community. Challenges include widespread bullying in schools, lack of protection from discrimination by employers, paucity of programming to address the reproductive health needs of lesbians, and the lack of sensitive HIV healthcare for transgender women and gay men.
Over a quarter of the respondents had not worked in the past year with unemployment being the primary reason, according to the report. Overall, 60 percent reported discrimination or harassment in public settings, and almost 30 percent of third gender people assigned male at birth reported being denied healthcare.
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We must continue to fight for equally for all people regardless of their sexual orientation.
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