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E-Bulletin


December 2015

Contact Info


Feminist Dalit Organization
(FEDO)


Kupondol, Lalitpur, Nepal.
G.P.O. Box No.: 4366, Ktm.

Tel: +977-01-5520982, 5543986
Fax: +977-01-5520982
Email: dms@fedo.wlink.com.np

Strategy


FEMINIST DALIT ORGANIZATION (FEDO)

STRATEGIC PLAN, 2010-2012

 

HISTORY/BACKGROUND

 

Feminist Dalit Organisation (FEDO) was founded in 1994 by a group of Dalit women, who were concerned about the oppressed status of Dalit women in Nepal. It is the only national level NGO working simultaneously against caste and gender discrimination throughout the nation. It coordinates the Nepal-wide movement of Dalit women to uplift and empower all Dalit and marginalized women and create a just, humane, and rights-based society. FEDO strives to facilitate the creation of improved living conditions and a better future for Dalit people with the vision of "A just and equitable society" where Dalit women gain their rights and opportunities to life, equity, development and participation.

 

FEDO has its own office building in Jwagal, Lalitpur, with sufficient office equipment and furniture. It has 112 regular staff members at present having good program management skills and competencies. Besides these, it has 45 district chapters in all the development regions of Nepal. FEDO chapters fight against caste and gender based discrimination and violence and have mobilized about 40,000 women in 2,000 women's groups.

 

At the national level, FEDO has been conducting interactions, workshops, meetings, rallies and media campaigns to sensitize people and to raise Dalit issues; to pressure and lobby government to ensure the rights of Dalit women. FEDO has also been working with several alliances and expanding its network to strongly lobby and bring Dalit issues to the forefront at both the grassroots and national levels.

 

Key Programmes and Achievements of FEDO

 

PAST ACTIVITIES AND ACHIEVEMENTS OF FEDO

FEDO has experience in political governance, human rights, social inclusion and democratization. It has worked on protection and promotion of civil and political rights of Dalits and Dalit women through implementation of laws and policies, representation in government, civil society, and media. FEDO has also increased access to justice and promoted awareness and understanding of human rights. It strengthened the capacity of Dalit and Dalit women to claim their rights in a movement against social and cultural discriminatory practices.

 

It has also successfully implemented many development projects in the past. FEDO has worked on socio-economic empowerment of Dalit women by reducing barriers to education, supporting income generation and improving health and sanitation condition. FEDO has been raising awareness at the grassroots level through the provision of training (human rights, legal rights, gender sensitization and leadership development, etc.) to build capacity of Dalit women to fight against caste and gender discrimination and violence.

 

The following are the key achievements FEDO has made in its efforts to protect and preserve rights of Dalit women, promote their livelihoods, and institutional development and networking.

 

  • FEDO has established a strong network in 45 districts representing 5 regions of Nepal by opening its own district chapters with 40,000 women members through 2,000 women groups. The whole attention of these networks is to protect and promote civil and political rights of Dalits and Dalit women through rights-based approach.

 

  • FEDO has strong alliances built with a number of organizations in Nepal, including both women’s network and government agencies. Women Security Pressure Group, Shanti Malika, Women Alliance for Peace, Power, Democracy an Constitution Assembly (WAPPDCA) and Women Act are included in its women alliance through which FEDO has been working in a coordinated approach in various women's issues. As recognition to our contribution in the field of social justice human rights, FEDO has been awarded host membership by WAPPDCA. The other organizations included in its alliances are: Saathi, FWLD, LACC, NNDSWO, DWO,. FEDO is a member of DNF which is a Dalit umbrella organization of Nepal, and NGO Federation of Nepal.

 

  • Respecting the FEDO's strengths and popularity it has earned, Nepal government has nominated it to its various bodies. FEDO is in the Steering Committee of Family Planning Association of Nepal under Ministry of Health and Population. Similarly, it has been nominated to the Central Implementation Coordination committee (CICC) which is the governing body of the project 'Gender Equality and Women Empowerment Project' implemented by Women Development Department under Ministry of women, children and social welfare.

 

  • FEDO is nominated to the 'National Women Rights Monitoring Network' formed under National Women Commission. We have been monitoring the human rights violation cases in Bajhang, Achham and Siraha through this Network. FEDO has also been working closely in a collaborative approach with National Dalit Commission in various Dalit issues.

 

  • As recognition to its constant efforts made by it in the field of civil and political rights for Dalit women in the country and for raising similar issues in the international forum, FEDO has been offered membership to the number of international organizations including New York University Centre for Human Rights and Social Justice, International Dalit Solidarity Network(IDSN), International Movement against Discrimination and Racism (IMADR) and the Centre Coalition for Electoral Reform in India among others. FEDO has been working as a member of IDSN since long and recently it has achieved a prestigious position of Executive Group (EG) member of IDSN. Also, it is on the board of directors of IMADR.

 

  • Following FEDO’s awareness-raising activities, Dalit women have been widely included in local peace committee and forestry users' groups in many districts. They have been empowered in various sectors.
  •  It has wide range of experiences in implementing various projects through its district chapters in the field of human rights and social justice, peace process, Violence against Women, women empowerment, and livelihood and capacity development.
  • There are five Dalit women members in the Constitution Assembly who were from the FEDO family. It is a great pride for FEDO that it has been able to empower women resulting 5 lawmakers. 

Major strengths of FEDO

 

FEDO has garnered the following strengths in course of the action since its inception:

 

  • FEDO has been playing the active role in lobbying and campaigning for Dalit women issues in national level,
  • FEDO has been recognized nationally and internationally for its continued leading role in sensitizing women and Dalit women issues. As an active player in the international forum, it has gained a trust as a result it has been offered some positions by the global organizations. FEDO has been working as a member of IDSN since long and recently it has achieved a prestigious position of Executive Group (EG) member of IDSN. Also, it is on the board of directors of IMADR.
  • The major strength of FEDO is that it has strong networks with dedicated staff at the grass root level in 45 districts of 5 regions of Nepal. The dedicated staffs are the backbone of FEDO as they can contribute their experiences and learning whenever it is required. 
  • Along with the activism and campaigning, FEDO has enriched its infrastructures and human resources. It has its own office space with well-facilitated training hall at the centre. In addition to that it has professional and dedicated staff to contribute to the various projects run by FEDO. Also, it has adapted the inclusive policy in staff recruitment process resulting diverse staff in board and project,
  • It is the one and only NGO engaged in raising issues in all 3 sectors simultaneously, like:  women, Dalit women and Dalit. It has focused its programs not only to Dalit women but to the women at large.
  • The apolitical nature of FEDO has gained its Neutrality and impartiality in the field of advocacy and human rights. So, it has a challenge to keep up with this value.
  • With the continued engagement, efforts and dedication towards the issue of Dalit women, it has earned credibility and trust from major like-minded organizations. Time and again, it has been acting as a hub for coordination and organizing meeting in various urgent issues.

 

 

 

CURRENT PROGRAMMES AND ACTIVITIES OF FEDO

 

A summary of major ongoing activities and working areas has been presented below:

 

Equal Access of Dalit Women to Health Services (EADWHS): This project aims to ensure a better future for vulnerable Dalit women by improving the access to basic health services in Dailekh, Surkhet, Bardiya and Kapilbastu districts of Nepal. It is funded by European Union and implemented by FEDO. It is 5 years project and will be completed by December 2013.

 

Strengthening Women’s Access to Justice: This project is funded by Open Society International (OSI), USA, for strengthening access in justice in four districts. It will be completed by June 2010.

 

Promotion of Dalit Women's Human Rights: This project is funded by OSI, U.S.A. Its aims to protect and promote Dalit women's human rights through awareness campaigns and advocacy efforts to enhance capacities of Dalit women to claim their rights against caste and gender discrimination.  This project has been completed by December 2009.

 

Empowering Dalit Women against Gender-Based Violence (EDWAV): This project is funded by Womankind International, U.K. and is working in 4 districts: Siraha, Bajhang, Bara and Bajura from 1 April 2009 and will be completed by 31 March, 2010. The objective of this project is to improve the situation of vulnerable women and girls, particularly those who are victims of or who have suffered from gender-based violence, through a comprehensive bottom-up preventive and responsive program.

 

SITUATION OF DALITS IN NEPAL

 

The Dalit community is the so-called “lowest” or “untouchable” caste in Nepal. Officially, Dalits are 13% of the population, although unofficial estimates put the figure between 20%-25%. There are six sub-caste groups of Dalits from the hills (Hill Dalits) and 10 sub-castes from the Terai (Madhesi Dalits). The development indicators have been uneven for the two groups of the Dalits. While almost all Dalits have poor development indicators, the impact of exclusion is higher on the Madhesi Dalits, the Madhesi Dalit women being the worst off. Despite legal caste distinctions having been abolished almost fifty years ago, Dalits remain socially, economically and politically marginalized within Nepali society, and continue to suffer from caste-based discrimination and economic deprivation.

 

Within the Dalit community, women are even more disadvantaged; apart from the caste based discrimination they experience gender related exclusion as well. In a community where women and Dalits own little property, Dalit women are predominantly landless. Dalit women are particularly vulnerable to both family and broader social violence; impunity for acts of violence against them is widespread because of their limited access to justice. Dalit women also suffer greater difficulties in fulfilling their gender-based household roles because of caste discrimination – for example, when they are refused access to public taps and must therefore source more distant, and often less clean, water for their families. Dalits in general and Dalit women in particular, still experience the society treat them as a second-class citizen.

 

The situation of Dalits in the key socio-economic development indicators

ECONOMIC

Dalits in Nepal have been the most economically excluded community for centuries. The overall economic condition of most of the Dalits is miserable. Even though untouchability is fading from the urban milieu and among the educated, the concept of traditional lowly occupation has become their identity, which prevented their participation in mainstream economic activities.

 

In Nepal, ownership of land means a lot in terms of wealth, power and prestige. For the middle and low class people, ownership of land means self-employment and non-ownership means unemployment. The share of the Dalits in the total cultivable land is 1 per cent only. Data of Dalits' land owners show that 23 percent Dalits are landless, 48.7 percent own less than 5 ropanies, 15.6 percent own 6 to 10 ropanies, and 9.6 percent own 10 to 20 ropanies and 3.1 own more than 21 ropanies of land. Most of the Dalits in the Terai are landless and their share in agricultural land is only 1 per cent (Jha, 1998). Only the lucky ones among the Dalits in the Terai have land, though the situation is comparatively better in the hills.

 

According to a research report, about 88 percent Dalit families are unable to make a living from their land. Thus they are forced to find labour based employment in agriculture or non-agriculture sectors but employment in these sectors are simply not available. Unequal distribution of resources and exploitative relations of production have compelled most of the Dalits to live as paupers, landless and homeless.

 

Off-farm, Dalits are known for occupations such as sewing, iron works, leatherworks and cleaning, which are traditionally considered to be lowly works with no economic power in the society. They thus remained economically excluded for centuries; hence they are living in a dire economic condition. They cannot produce and sell foodstuffs like milk and vegetables, they don’t find customers to pursue trading or service businesses such as restaurants, and they are not educated to take up public service jobs. In sum, there is no room for their economic prosperity in traditional Nepalese society. As many as 80 per cent of Dalits live below the poverty line.

 

Within the Dalit community there are six sub-caste groups who are from the hills (Hill Dalits) and 10 sub-caste groups who from the Terai (Madhesi Dalits). The development progress has been uneven for the two groups of the Dalits. While almost all Dalits have poor development indicators, the impact of exclusion is higher on the Madhesi Dalits, with the Madhesi Dalit women being the worst off.

 

SOCIAL

According to Hindu norms and values, Dalits are considered ritually ‘’impure’’ and “untouchable” in society. They are forced to live at the bottom of the social hierarchy. In most of the villages, the Dalit caste people are compelled to live in a separate tole (cornered settlement) and thus a barrier is created in communication between the so-called Dalit and non-Dalit caste people as their inter-mingling with other high caste people has been prevented. They have been marginalized in the administrative and political structure of the country. They do not have any place in judiciary and in decision making process.

 

Dalits are by virtue of caste discrimination and untouchability, the most backward in health, social, economic, educational, political and religious spheres and deprived of human dignity and social justice (National Dalit Commission).

 

Dalit women suffer from both gender and caste based discriminations. They are Dalits who is considered “impure”, “untouchable” and unequal in social and economic spheres, and they are women who are weak, inefficient, and lowely.

 

Untouchability continues in Nepal to the detriment of the Dalit community. In many areas, Dalits are still prevented from entering some “upper caste” temples, and are insulted or assulted. Dalits who visit tea shops or restaurants are also often expected to wash their own dishes afterwards. Similarly, many Dalits, particularly in rural areas, do not have access to community water sources (often the only source of potable water), because non-Dalit community members refuse them access. As women and girls are usually those who collect the household water, this affects Dalit women particularly.

 

Health and Sanitation

The average life expectancy of Dalit women is 5 years less than other women in Nepal. Dalits fall far behind the national average and other community groups in terms of health and sanitation indicators.  The comparative data is presented in the table below.

 

Health related indicators of Dalits in Nepal

Indicators

National average

Dalits

Mortality under 5 (per  1,000)

104.8

171.2

Infant Mortality rate (per 1,000 )

75.2

116.5

Fertility (%)

4.0

4.7

Use of Contraceptives (%)

44%

28 %

Source: Interim plan 2008-2010, Nepal Government

 

The table clearly shows that in all the health indicators – mortality, fertility, and use of contraceptives – the Dalits fare far behind the national average. Furthermore data show that immunization coverage for Dalit children is 43%, which is 20% lower than national average. The sanitation situation is also worse in Dalit households[1]. Only half of Dalit women have access to trained health practitioners during child-birth. Infant mortality rate (IMR) for Dalit is 116.5 per 1000 lives births compared to 52.5 for Brahmin, and immunization coverage for Dalit children is 43%, which is 20% lower than national average. About 50 per cent of the Dalit children are the victims of malnutrition. They don’t have access to primary health care faciltieis. Trafficking among the Dalit women is a matter of serious concern.

 

Health related data of Dalits in Nepal

Topics

National average

Dalits

Mortality under 5(per  1,000)

104.8

171.2

Infant Mortality rate(per 1,000 )

75.2

116.5

Fertility(%)

4

4.7

Use of Contraceptives (%)

44%

28 %

Source: Interim plan 2008-2010, Nepal Government

 

Education

Dalits are poor in education attainment. Literacy rate among the Dalits is as low as 10.7% whereas at the national level literacy rate is over 50%. In certain Dalit communities such as Musahars, the literacy rate is 4% till today. Literacy rate among the Dalit women is as low as 3.2% (Nepali, 2000). The Dalit children find it difficult to receive education in the schools partly due to the social discrimination and partly for their inability to pay for tuition fee and textbooks.

 

The literacy rate among Dalit women is only 34.8%, compared with 54.5% for women as a whole and 59.9% for Dalit men.  More than 85% of Dalit women aged between 15 and 49 in Nepal have not completed primary education, and less than 1% have completed any education beyond secondary level.  Dalits as a group also have the highest rates of school-year repetition and the highest dropout rates during primary school. On all educational indicators, Dalit women perform substantially below both women as a group and Dalits as a group.

 

The above picture depicts the situation of Dalit in basic and school education. One can easily predict the Dalits’ education in technical vocational and higher studies would be far worse. As a result the Dalits are rare in vocational and technical schools, colleges, and therefore they are also not seen in professions such as teachers, professionals, technicians, health workers, and so on that requir higher education and training.

 

Political

Dalits, prevented from holding these positions, are always discouraged from exercising their political rights. Hardly few Dalits hold key positions in political parties. Off late some political parties have recognized to have pro-Dalit wings in their party structure. Examples are Nepal Dalit Sang (Nepali Congress) and Nepal Dalit Jatiya Mukti Samaj of the Communist Party of Nepal/United Marxist League. Overall, Dalit representation in various national level political parties is negligible, as shown in the table below.

 

Dalit representation in various political parties' Central Working Committee is as follows:

UCPN(Maoist)

Nepali Congress

CPN(UML)

Madhesi Janadhikar Forum

Terai Madhesh Loktantric Party(TAMALOPA)

4.34%

1.63%

6.89%

2.85%

5.45%

Source: Suvash Darnal, Samata Foundation, 2009.

 

However, these parties field only a few candidates in elections from Dalit community, resulting in few Dalit representatives in elected bodies such as the National Assembly. Before 2008, no Dalit woman had ever been elected to parliament. Representation of Dalit women in party politics is almost negligible. Because the constitution of Nepal reserved seats for women, it made it possible for 24 Dalit women to be in the 601 seat constituent assembly (see table below...).

 

Political parties

Male

Female

Hill Dalit

Terai Dalit

Total

UCPN(Maoist)

14

9

19

4

23

Nepali Congress

4

5

7

2

9

CPN(UML)

6

6

8

4

12

Madhesi Janadhikar Forum

0

2

0

2

2

Terai Madhesh Loktantric Party(TAMALOPA)

0

1

0

1

1

Dalit Janjati Party

1

0

0

1

1

Rastriya Prajatantra Party

0

1

0

1

1

Rastriya Janamorcha

1

0

1

0

1

Total

26

24

35

15

50

Source: Suvash Darnal, Samata Foundation, 2009.

 

While the election of Dalit women candidates is a landmark achievement, Dalit women remain unrepresented. Presently they comprise only 4% of the parliament, despite making up at least 10% of the population.

 

UNDP's 2009 Nepal Human Development Report also reports on the general under-representation of women and Dalits in the civil service, local government, and other key public and civil society institutions such as the police. As late as 2006, Dalits made up less than 1% of civil service employees. [2] Given that women are also grossly underrepresented in the civil service, [3] it is likely that Dalit women remain almost entirely unrepresented in the civil service.

 

Similarly, Dalits are effectively completely unrepresented in leadership positions in Nepal's business representative organizations and civil society organizations.[4]

 

VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

 

The levels of violence are unacceptably high for all women in Nepal. A study by Paudel conducted in 2005 found that 35% of women in Nepal had experienced gender-based violence in their own homes,[5] and other studies have put this figure up to 60%. Paudel’s study also found that experiences of violence are strongly correlated with low education, and poverty and economic dependence.[6] Because Dalit women have the highest rates of illiteracy and the lowest educational standards of any group in Nepal, and because Dalits are the poorest community in Nepal, Dalit women are disproportionately exposed to domestic violence. Vulnerability to sexual abuse and violence also increases with the distance women need to travel in order to fetch water and to go to the toilet – and as Dalit families are usually furthest from clean water and sanitation areas, this further increases the risks for Dalit women.[7]

 

Furthermore, Dalit women are also exposed to the phenomena of “social violence”, based on their caste and gender. In many areas of Nepal, discrimination against Dalits as “untouchables” continues largely unabated, and in a report on gender-based violence conducted in 1998, Nepali NGO Saathi reported that 21% of respondents were aware of an incident of violence based on “untouchability”.[8] It is not uncommon for Dalits who enter temples or use public taps or water supplies – predominantly women – to be subjected to violence by non-Dalit members of their community.

 

In addition, in many communities Dalit women are being accused of witchcraft, and subsequently beaten or tortured by community members. These accusations remain common, with 44% of respondents to Saathi’s 1998 surveys reporting that they were personally aware of an accusation of witchcraft.[9] One such incident which was widely reported in Nepal occurred earlier this year in a village near Kathmandu, when Kalli Kumari Bishwakarma was detained for two days, threatened, beaten, and forced to eat her own excrement after she was accused of being a witch.[10]

 

Dalit women also face hardship because of child marriage, bigamy and dowry practices that continue to prevail despite having been officially outlawed. Alcohol abuse and subsequent domestic violence is also a significant problem.

 

Issues and prospects for development of Dalit community

 

Limited capacity to exercise their due rights is the key issue for development of Dalit community. Overriding poverty is the main issue of Dalit community, which has prevented their meaningful and active participation in social and economic life. Furthermore, the massive internal displacement of communities has resulted in increased poverty. Dalits were displaced disproportionately from their places of birth due to their inability to earn a living in a intensive conflict environment and their perceived association with the conflicting party (and particularly with Maoist guerrillas). These displaced sections have not been rehabilitated even after the Peace Agreement signed in 2006. There is high concentration of such conflict victims, particularly in the mid- and far-western districts, who are in need of humanitarian assistance to re-establish their normal lives.

 

The current juncture in Nepal’s history is both a time of opportunity and difficulty for the Dalit population. The opportunities and challenges stem in the prevailing situation in Nepal, where the restructuring of the state is taking place and a new people’s constitution is being drafted. 

 

The agenda of Dalit is understood and realized by the political parties and the Nepalese society at large. The Interim Constitution of Nepal (2007) has declared that untouchability and its practices are illegal. Similarly, the Three Year’s Interim Plan (TYIP) has highlighted the fact that there is big difference between caste/ethnicity, men and women in Nepal in terms of economic, education and health opportunities. The constitution-making process represents a unique opportunity for the Dalit community to ensure the State rectifies past wrongs against them, and even more importantly, adopts a constitution which will ensure equality and human rights for all Nepal’s citizens in the future.

 

Opportunities, challenges and need for a strategic plan

 

The strong recognition and felt need, by the national and international agencies, to work to uplift the socio-economic and political situation of Dalit women is the biggest opportunity for FEDO.  Convincing donors and national agencies to contribute resources for programs targeted to Dalit women has become easier.

 

The way FEDO developed itself gives it unique strengths in this field. FEDO has established itself as a committed organization working in safeguarding the interest and providing services of Dalit women. The sheer membership base, coverage, and network of local unit offices are its unique strengths. Besides it has a long history of working for and with the Dalit women, partnering with donor and government agencies, and participation in national and international movements. Moreover, the competent staff and their managing relatively large programs is another strong area that FEDO can make use for scaling up its activities.

 

Opportunities come with challenges. When a social organization like FEDO establishes itself as recognized, then the donors, clients and stakeholders give more trust and expect more. This results in taking up more programs and activities, as they come in. As a result, often organizations are found crossing boundaries, and going out of control. Often organizations drift from the mission, and end up doing things that are easy, even though they are not strategically important. Hence, there is need for a strategic plan.

 

The strategic plan defines the vision, mission, goal and strategies of FEDO, which is reviewed and redefined in consultation with the staff, clients and key stakeholders. It also identifies the key approaches to program implementation, and key priority thematic areas, as well as the key activities under each priority thematic area. Moreover, the indicators of achievement are also identified that provide a source of drive for the staff and management.


VISION, MISSION, GOAL AND STRATEGIES

 

Dalit women require access to both civil and political rights and economic, social and cultural rights. However, to enable them to claim and enjoy the rights they need livelihoods supports in the first place. FEDO is uniquely placed to meet these objectives, and is firmly committed to it, with the following vision, mission, goals and strategy.

VISION:

FEDO envisions a just and equitable society where Dalit women enjoy their rights and have opportunities to life, equity, development and participation.

MISSION:

Our mission is to be a movement against caste and gender-based discrimination in order to protect and promote civil and political rights of Dalit women and to support their socio-economic empowerment.

OBJECTIVES:

 

  • To ensure proportionate representation of Dalit women in all aspects of socio-political life
  • To give voice to the Dalit women so that their concerns and aspirations are heard by policy makers and development partners
  • To enable the Dalit women live with self-respect and dignity in the society
  • To improve the access of Dalit women to socio-economic resources, opportunities and services

 

- THEMATIC PROGRAMME AREAS – 2010-2012

 

Text Box: Figure 1: Three-Pillar Thematic Programme Areas
 
FEDO has identified the following THREE PRONGED thematic areas, as shown in figure-1, for its work over the next three years. These thematic areas will form the key areas for FEDO’s advocacy, programming and fundraising activities. The thematic areas and broad programs under each are outlined below.

 

Thematic Area 1: Enabling Environment

FEDO will carry out advocacy work and undertake peace-building initiatives under this thematic area.

 

Thematic Area 2: Economic Empowerment and Capacity Development

This thematic area includes FEDO programs for economic empowerment, political empowerment, education, and Health and Sanitation.

 

Thematic Area 3: Access to Justice, Human Rights and Services

This includes programs and activities for protection and promotion of civil and political rights of Dalits and Dalit Women through implementation of laws/policies, representation in government/public/civil society. Besides, campaigns such as violence against women and equitable access to public services will also be carried out under this thematic area.

 

FEDO has identified priority programmes covering the three thematic areas with an outline of the three year goals and achievement indicators for each programme.

 

STRATEGIES

FEDO has adopted the following key strategies to achieve the vision, mission and goal through work in the thematic areas of action.

 

Work from grassroots to the policy levels

As the issue and problems facing Dalit women are multifaceted, structural, and deep rooted they require actions at different levels. Hence, FEDO will work at grassroots as well as national levels. While the focus of activities will be on securing rights and national implementation of human rights standards, FEDO will emphasize on forming and strengthening of pressure groups, at sub-district, district, and central levels. At the same time, with a view to enabling the Dalit women to enjoy the benefits of the structural and policy changes, it will keep enhancing competencies of individual Dalit women through socio-politico-economic empowerment, and building capacity to claim rights.

 

Regular programmes as well as projects

FEDO will continue providing support to Dalit women both with its regular programs, and implementation of projects. Activities such as advocacy and campaigning, awareness raising, access to justice, and mobilization of the grassroots institutions of Dalit women will comprise the regular programs of FEDO. Similarly, it will actively be engaged in providing economic, health, education, hygiene, sanitation, and nutrition programs for the benefit of Dalit women, which form the core areas of FEDO action.  Besides, depending on availability of resources it will also implement activities in other areas such as environmental protection and adaptation to climatic changes.

 

Partnerships and alliances

FEDO strives to forge partnerships and alliances and work jointly with other organizations and agencies. FEDO will join local and international networks, solidarities, media, and advocacy campaigns for securing socio-political economic and rights of Dalit Women. Similarly, partnerships will be sought from organizations for program implementation, capacity strengthening, and resource enhancement of FEDO as well as its target group. Appreciating the contribution of media in achieving its mission, FEDO will maximize the use of different media, and encourage and involve media persons in all its activities, and in developing effective communication strategy to the highest possible extent.

 

Institutional capacity building

FEDO realises that, in order to achieve its vision, mission and objectives, it needs a strong organization. Special focus will therefore be given on FEDO organizational strengthening. The key institution building measures will be restructuring of FEDO, developing and operationalizing of effective systems and procedures, establishing a strong financial management, and mobilization of its district chapters and groups. Developing human competencies and skills at all levels of the organization will be given high priority. Special attention will be given to instituting an effective program formulation, implementation and monitoring and evaluation system.

 

 

 


 

PRIORITY PROGRAMMES

Economic empowerment

 

FEDO’s staff and board members identified as the most important issue for Dalit women. Poverty is the cause of many of the deprivations suffered by Dalit communities and Dalit women, including lack of education, lack of access to health services, low levels of land ownership and weak property rights, lower nutritional standards and lack of access to justice. It is felt that by focusing on this area, we can increase the capacity of Dalit women and communities to generate their own resources, and claim and access resources of the State.

 

Our ultimate goals in this area are:

  • To eliminate poverty among Dalit and marginalized women
  • To provide Dalit and marginalized women with the necessary economic skills and resources to support their social, economic and political mobility within the Nepali community

 

Our objectives within the next three years are:

  • Extend microfinance or small grant support to at least 2,000 Dalit women who are living in poverty.
  • Increased entrepreneurial and vocational skills of 3,000 poor Dalit women, through skills development training.
  • Successfully lobbied for government policy requiring at least 5% of the each District Development Committee’s budget to be set aside for programmes targeted at poor Dalit families.
  • Increased awareness of government resources and services among poor Dalit families. 
  • Successfully lobby the government to adopt fair land reform process which will provide land to landless Dalit women and men.

 

Political empowerment

 

The oppression of the Dalit community within Nepal’s unequal society has resulted at least in part by their exclusion from decision-making and political activities. In order to direct government law and policy in a more inclusive and fair manner, it is essential that Dalits, including Dalit women, are able to fully participate in, and are represented in, the political process.

 

Our ultimate goals in this area are:

  • To enable Dalit women to participate on a basis of equality with all other Nepali citizens in the political sphere and State mechanisms

 

Within three years, we hope to achieve the following:

  • At least 80% of Dalit women and their children are registered as citizens of Nepal
  • At least 80% of Dalit women are registered to vote in the next election
  • Increased capacity of at least 500 current and future Dalit men and women political leaders, particularly in human rights, economics, and key skills including computers and English, through training and skill development programmes.
  • Successfully lobby for a government action plan for inclusion of Dalit and marginalized women in key governmental bodies, including the courts and civil service.
  • Successfully lobby the government to establish a binding quota of at least 5% for recruitment and promotion of Dalit women specifically in the civil service of Nepal.

 

Justice and human rights

Although human rights have gained greater legal traction in recent years in Nepal, there are a still a number of gaps and a legacy of discriminatory laws which must be addressed. During the current transformation of the Nepali state and legal structure, FEDO wishes to focus on strengthening human rights law and removing discriminatory laws. In addition, one of the most significant issues for the Dalit community in Nepal is the lack of implementation of laws and policies that are aimed at their empowerment. It is essential that awareness of rights and policies and legal services are provided to Dalit communities, so that the State can be held to account for its policies and implementation can be improved.

 

Within three years, we hope to achieve the following:

  • to provide equal access to justice for all citizens
  • to eliminate discrimination against Dalits and women in laws and policies, and in their implementation

 

Within three years, we hope to achieve the following:

  • Increase the reporting rate of Dalit women’s human rights incidents to at least 50% within the districts in which FEDO works.
  • Establish a credible monitoring system for Dalit women’s human rights violations, and publish findings annually.
  • Provide legal support for at least 30 cases related to Dalit women’s human rights to be filed in the District Court, Court of Appeal or Supreme Court, with a priority focus on public interest litigation.
  • Form paralegal committees to provide free legal advice specifically tailored to Dalit women in at least 15 districts.
  • Provide training to at least 5,000 Dalit and other marginalized women on human and legal rights.
  • Strengthen criminal and civil provisions on caste-based discrimination in national law.
  • Strengthen implementation of legal provisions on caste discrimination, particularly in remote Districts.

Violence against Women

 

Violence against women is almost endemic in Nepal. Studies suggest that at least one in three women experiences domestic violence, and that more than 95% have first-hand knowledge of an incident of violence. Poor and marginalized women, a group which includes a disproportionate number of Dalit women, are particularly vulnerable to violence. In addition to family violence, Dalit women are also vulnerable to social violence based on caste-discrimination. There is a great need to provide services and assistance to marginalized Dalit women, not only for family violence but also services targeted specifically at the experiences of Dalit women.

 

Our ultimate objectives in this area are:

  • To eliminate all forms of violence against women
  • To create a legal, political and social consensus that violence against women is unacceptable.

 

Within three years, we hope to:

  • Strengthen the new domestic violence law by simplifying procedures for women victims and by providing for the immediate arrest of suspected perpetrators.
  • Successfully lobby the government to open and maintain women’s shelters in every district.
  • Sensitise the police and courts to issues of violence against women in at least 15 districts outside of Kathmandu.
  • Successfully lobby the government to establish women’s units in the police in at least 5 more districts.
  • Increase the reporting of incidents of violence to at least 25%.
  • Establish violence counselling centres in at least 4 new districts.

 

Peace-building and constitution-making

 

The primary focus of this area remains the constitution-making process, which is scheduled to be completed in 2010. The creation of the Constitution is an unparalleled opportunity to cement human rights and principles of inclusion in the Nepali state. Assuming that the constitution-making process is completed on schedule, this area will become a lesser priority in 2011 and 2012, although other transitional justice issues will remain on FEDO’s agenda.

 

Our ultimate objectives in this area are:

  • Nepal adopts an enforceable, just and human rights-based Constitution.
  • Actors from all sides of the civil conflict are fairly reintegrated into Nepali society.
  • All victims of conflict are compensated and rehabilitated.
  • Those responsible for human rights violations during the conflict are brought to justice.

 

Within three years, we hope to achieve the following:

  • Successfully lobby the Nepali government to adopt a Constitution which includes:
  • Prohibition of caste discrimination, accompanied by strong penalties
  • Proportional representation for Dalit women in political bodies
  • All key human rights, including both civil and political and economic, social and cultural rights
  • A right of direct enforcement in the courts for all human rights and for rights to proportional representation
  • Successfully lobby the government to adopt and implement a clear plan, including compensation, for persons displaced during the conflict.
  • Successfully lobby the government to adopt a fair and representative Truth and Reconciliation Commission, in line with international transitional justice standards, with full powers to investigate and report on events, award compensation, and make recommendations for prosecutions or amnesties as appropriate.
  • Provide training and awareness to at least 200 Dalit women community leaders about the peace building process, including international instruments such as Security Council Resolution 1325.

 

Health and Sanitation

 

Health is one of the most significant issues for Dalit women throughout Nepal, and contributes to their overall disempowerment. However, because health programming is a highly resource-dependent area, FEDO’s work in this area will focus primarily on advocacy for non-discrimination in health services, and health and nutrition awareness amongst Dalit communities.

 

Our ultimate objectives in this area are:

  • To ensure Dalit and marginalized women have access to health services on an equal basis with other members of Nepali society;
  • To ensure Dalit women have safe and affordable access to all health services, including reproductive health services.

 

Within three years, we aim to achieve the following:

  • Provide health and nutrition training to at least 2,000 Dalit and marginalized women, through women’s groups
  • Conduct a study of the prevalence of health issues among Dalit women and communities, particularly uterine prolapsed and HIV/AIDS
  • Successfully lobby the government to adopt a policy that at least 10% of female community health volunteers are Dalit women, including at least one Dalit woman in a Primary Health Centre in each district.

 

 

 

 

Education

 

As with health, education is one of the most significant issues for Dalit women throughout Nepal, and contributes to their overall disempowerment. However, again as with health, because education programming is a highly resource-dependent area, FEDO’s work in this area will focus primarily on advocacy for greater provision of services to Dalits by the government in this sector.

 

Our ultimate objectives in this area are:

  • All Dalit children attend primary and secondary school.
  • Dalit boys and girls have equal, fair and affordable access to higher education.

 

Within the next three years, we hope to achieve the following:

  • Halve the number of Dalit children, and Dalit girls, who do not attend primary school in FEDO’s working districts, especially in the Terai.
  • Successfully lobby the government to increase the school attendance subsidy provided to poor Dalit families.
  • Successfully lobby the government to change its policy of hiring Dalits as teachers to include an equal representation of Dalit men and women.
  • Increase funds in FEDO’s Enrolment Trust Fund by at least 25%.
  • Provide financial assistance (partial scholarships) to at least 75 Dalit girls who wish to attend secondary school.

 

Organizational development

 

The goal of becoming a more effective, professional organization is a permanent part of FEDO’s strategy. For the next three years, FEDO has developed a number of goals for its organisation, relating to different areas of its management and operations.

  • Human resources
  • Assess core training needs of staff and Board, and provide training and development in these areas.
  • Implement annual staff performance appraisal.
  • Develop and implement transparent and fair policies for staff recruitment, receipt of money by Board members, and employment of family members.
  • Recruit new key staff members including a policy/advocacy coordinator, administrative manager, communications and IT manager and programmes director.

 

Decision-making processes and internal communications

  • Develop a quarterly and annual district reporting system.
  • Improve communications from Centre to Districts
  • Communicate management and board decisions to the entire organization.
  • Develop and maintain staff group email lists to facilitate communications.
  • Develop a system for consulting with each district regarding project proposals, prior to application for funding.

 

Finance and budgeting

  • Annual review and adjustment (as necessary) of finance policies
  • Ensure all staff are aware of finance policies
  • Quarterly budget report to the Central Board, and information provided to each District
  • Develop budgeting skills of programming staff, to create more realistic, appropriate budgets.
  • Develop post-programme budget review, to assess budget forecasting weaknesses.

 

Fundraising and marketing

  • Develop 3 year fundraising plan, with a particular focus on methods of more sustainable fundraising.
  • Improve donor relations through events and greater linkages
  • Update and regularly maintain website
  • Use monitoring and research to develop FEDO publications, and widely distribute these.
  • Improve relations with stakeholders including local government bodies and line agencies.

 

Administration, operations and procedures

  • Within three years, develop separate administrative personnel for FEDO (with responsibilities for management, human resources, IT etc).
  • Develop and maintain a complete central database recording all FEDO staff in central and district offices.
  • Develop a three-year procurement plan.
  • Create an IT committee, fundraising and proposal writing committee, and staff/HR committee from staff and Board members, to discuss each of these areas and elevate issues and suggestions to management.
  • Hold monthly staff meetings in the Central office, to which all staff may contribute agenda items.
  • Develop a visibility plan for FEDO, including a clear logo and usage guidelines.

 

Expansion and development

  • Expand FEDO’s operations into at least 5 new districts
  • Purchase or construct permanent office space in at least two districts
  • Create resource centres in at least 5 districts
  • Establish a knowledge centre and conference hall in FEDO’s Central Office
  • Improve membership records by creating a complete and comprehensive membership list in all districts
  • Increase membership by at least 10%
  • Review and revise as necessary FEDO’s constitution
  • Establish an international advisory committee

STRATEGIC PLAN- Summary table

S.N.

Priority thematic areas

Goals

Objectives

Indicators

1

Economic empowerment

To eliminate poverty among Dalit and marginalized women

To provide Dalit and marginalized women with the necessary economic skills and resources to support their social, economic and political mobility within the Nepali community

 

Extend microfinance or small grant support to at least 2,000 Dalit women who are living in poverty.

Increased entrepreneurial and vocational skills of 3,000 poor Dalit women, through skills development training.

Successfully lobbied for government policy requiring at least 5% of the each District Development Committee’s budget to be set aside for programmes targeted at poor Dalit families.

Increased awareness of government resources and services among poor Dalit families. 

 

Successfully lobby the government to adopt fair land reform process which will provide land to landless Dalit women and men.

 

2,000 poor Dalit women's economic status strengthened.

 

3,000 poor Dalit women's entrepreneurial and vocational skills enhanced.

 

At least 5% of the each District Development Committee’s budget  set aside for programmes targeted at poor Dalit families.

Poor Dalit families are well informed about the government resources and services

A Dalit friendly and fair land reform policies and process adopted by the Government.

2

Political empowerment

To enable Dalit women to participate on a basis of equality with all other Nepali citizens in the political sphere and State mechanisms

 

At least 80% of Dalit women and their children are registered as citizens of Nepal

 

At least 80% of Dalit women are registered to vote in the next election

 

Increased capacity of at least 500 current and future Dalit men and women political leaders, particularly in human rights, economics, and key skills including computers and English, through training and skill development programmes.

Successfully lobby for a government action plan for inclusion of Dalit and marginalized women in key governmental bodies, including the courts and civil service.

Successfully lobby the government to establish a binding quota of at least 5% for recruitment and promotion of Dalit women specifically in the civil service of Nepal.

 

At least 80% of Dalit women and their children registered as citizens of  Nepal.

At least 80% of Dalit women  included in the voter list for next election.

500 Dalit political leaders capacity enhanced on human rights and personal carrier development.

 

 

 

Government has an action plan of Dalit friendly inclusive policies.

 

 

A binding quota of 5% for recruitment and promotion of Dalit women adopted by the Government.

3

Justice and human rights

to provide equal access to justice for all citizens

to eliminate discrimination against Dalits and women in laws and policies, and in their implementation

 

Increase the reporting rate of Dalit women’s human rights incidents to at least 50% within the districts in which FEDO works.

 

Establish a credible monitoring system for Dalit women’s human rights violations, and publish findings annually.

Provide legal support for at least 30 cases related to Dalit women’s human rights to be filed in the District Court, Court of Appeal or Supreme Court, with a priority focus on public interest litigation.

Form paralegal committees to provide free legal advice specifically tailored to Dalit women in at least 15 districts.

Provide training to at least 5,000 Dalit and other marginalized women on human and legal rights.

Strengthen criminal and civil provisions on caste-based discrimination in national law.

 

Strengthen implementation of legal provisions on caste discrimination, particularly in remote Districts.

 

The reporting rate of Dalit women human rights incidents doubled within the districts where FEDO works.

A credible monitoring system established.

 

Legal support provided to 30 cases relating to  Dalit women human rights violation

 

 

Paralegal committees to provide free legal advice are formed in 15 districts.

5,000 Dalits and marginalized women trained on human and legal rights.

Criminal and civic provisions on caste-based discrimination are adopted in national law.

Implementation of legal provisions on caste-based discrimination strengthened in remote districts.

 

4

Violence against Women

To eliminate all forms of violence against women

To create a legal, political and social consensus that violence against women is unacceptable.

 

Strengthen the new domestic violence law by simplifying procedures for women victims and by providing for the immediate arrest of suspected perpetrators.

Successfully lobby the government to open and maintain women’s shelters in every district.

Sensitize the police and courts to issues of violence against women in at least 15 districts outside of Kathmandu.

Successfully lobby the government to establish women’s units in the police in at least 5 more districts.

Increase the reporting of incidents of violence to at least 25%.

Establish violence counselling centres in at least 4 new districts.

 

The new domestic violence law with simple procedures implemented.

 

 

Women's shelters in all 75 districts opened and maintained by the Government.

Police and court personnel sensitized on violence against women in 15 districts.

Women units in the police established in 5 more districts.

 

Reporting of incidents on women violence increased by 25%.

Violence counselling centres established in 4 new districts.

5

Peace process and Constitution making

Nepal adopts an enforceable, just and human rights-based Constitution.

Actors from all sides of the civil conflict are fairly reintegrated into Nepali society.

All victims of conflict are compensated and rehabilitated.

Those responsible for human rights violations during the conflict are brought to justice.

 

Successfully lobby the Nepali government to adopt a Constitution which includes:

Prohibition of caste discrimination, accompanied by strong penalties

Proportional representation for Dalit women in political bodies

All key human rights, including both civil and political and economic, social and cultural rights

A right of direct enforcement in the courts for all human rights and for rights to proportional representation

Successfully lobby the government to adopt and implement a clear plan, including compensation, for persons displaced during the conflict.

Successfully lobby the government to adopt a fair and representative Truth and Reconciliation Commission, in line with international transitional justice standards, with full powers to investigate and report on events, award compensation, and make recommendations for prosecutions or amnesties as appropriate.

Provide training and awareness to at least 200 Dalit women community leaders about the peace building process, including international instruments such as Security Council Resolution 1325.

 

A Dalit friendly inclusive constitution adopted by Nepal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Government has clear plan of compensation procedures for persons displaced during the conflict.

A fair and representative Truth and Reconciliation Commission in line with international transitional justice established.

 

 

 

 

200 Dalit women community leaders trained about the peace building process, including international instruments such as Security Council Resolution 1325.

6

Health and Sanitation

To ensure Dalit and marginalized women have access to health services on an equal basis with other members of Nepali society;

To ensure Dalit women have safe and affordable access to all health services, including reproductive health services.

 

Provide health and nutrition training to at least 2,000 Dalit and marginalized women, through women’s groups

Conduct a study of the prevalence of health issues among Dalit women and communities, particularly uterine prolapsed and HIV/AIDS

Successfully lobby the government to adopt a policy that at least 10% of female community health volunteers are Dalit women, including at least one Dalit woman in a Primary Health Centre in each district.

 

2,000 Dalit and marginalized women trained on  health and nutrition through women’s groups

A study on the prevalence of health issues among Dalit women conducted.

Government has a policy where 10% of FCHVs are Dalit women.

7

Education

All Dalit children attend primary and secondary school.

Dalit boys and girls have equal, fair and affordable access to higher education.

 

Halve the number of Dalit children, and Dalit girls, who do not attend primary school in FEDO’s working districts, especially in the Terai.

Successfully lobby the government to increase the school attendance subsidy provided to poor Dalit families.

Successfully lobby the government to change its policy of hiring Dalits as teachers to include an equal representation of Dalit men and women.

Increase funds in FEDO’s Enrolment Trust Fund by at least 25%.

Provide financial assistance (partial scholarships) to at least 75 Dalit girls who wish to attend secondary school.

 

Dalit children and girls who do not attend primary school are reduced to 50%.

 

School attendance subsidy provided to poor Dalit families increased.

 

The policy of hiring Dalits as teachers to include an equal representation of Dalit men and women changed.

 

FEDO's enrolment trust fund increased by 25%.

Partial scholarships are provided to 75 Dalit girls who wish to attend secondary school.

8

Organizational Development

The organization and staff become more effective and professional.

Human resources:

Assess core training needs of staff and Board, and provide training and development in these areas.

Implement annual staff performance appraisal.

 

Develop and implement transparent and fair policies for staff recruitment, receipt of money by Board members, and employment of family members.

 

Recruit new key staff members including a policy/advocacy coordinator, administrative manager, communications and IT manager and programmes director.

 

Decision-making process and internal communications:

Develop a quarterly and annual district reporting system.

Improve communications from Centre to Districts

Communicate management and board decisions to the entire organization.

 

Develop and maintain staff group email lists to facilitate communications.

Develop a system for consulting with each district regarding project proposals, prior to application for funding.

 

Finance and budgeting:

Annual review and adjustment (as necessary) of finance policies

Ensure all staff are aware of finance policies

Quarterly budget report to the Central Board, and information provided to each District

Develop budgeting skills of programming staff, to create more realistic, appropriate budgets.

 

 

Develop post-programme budget review, to assess budget forecasting weaknesses.

 

Fundraising and marketing:

Develop 3 year fundraising plan, with a particular focus on methods of more sustainable fundraising.

Improve donor relations through events and greater linkages

Update and regularly maintain website

 

Use monitoring and research to develop FEDO publications, and widely distribute these.

 

 

Improve relations with stakeholders including local government bodies and line agencies.

 

Administration, operations and procedures:

 

Within three years, develop separate administrative personnel for FEDO (with responsibilities for management, human resources, IT etc).

Develop and maintain a complete central database recording all FEDO staff in central and district offices.

Develop a three-year procurement plan.

 

Create an IT committee, fundraising and proposal writing committee, and staff/HR committee from staff and Board members, to discuss each of these areas and elevate issues and suggestions to management.

 

 

Hold monthly staff meetings in the Central office, to which all staff may contribute agenda items.

Develop a visibility plan for FEDO, including a clear logo and usage guidelines.

 

Expansion and development:

Expand FEDO’s operations into at least 5 new districts

Purchase or construct permanent office space in at least two districts.

 

Create resource centres in at least 5 districts

 

Establish a knowledge centre and conference hall in FEDO’s Central Office

 

Improve membership records by creating a complete and comprehensive membership list in all districts

 

Increase membership by at least 10%

 

Review and revise as necessary FEDO’s constitution

Establish an international advisory committee

 

 

Core training needs of staff and board assessed and relevant training provided.

Annual staff performance appraisal conducted

A transparent and fair policies regarding staff recruitment, receipt of money by Board members, and employment of family members developed.

FEDO got policy/advocacy coordinator, administrative manager, IT manager and program director hired.

 

 

 

A quarterly and annual district reporting system developed.

A clear communication system from centre to districts improved.

Management and board decisions are clearly communicated to the entire organization.

A group email lists of staff developed and maintained.

A system of consulting with each district chapters prior to applying for funding developed.

 

 

Finance policies reviewed and adjusted annually. All staff  are aware about FEDO's financial policies.

 

All district chapters' budget report dispatched to the central board.

Budgeting skills of program staff developed.

A system of organizing the post-programme budget review established.

 

A 3-year fundraising plan of FEDO developed.

 

Relations of FEDO with donor improved.

Website regularly updated and maintained.

FEDO publications are developed based on Monitoring and research and distributed widely.

 

Relations with stakeholders including local government bodies and line agencies improved.

 

 

Separate administrative personnel for FEDO developed with responsibilities for management, human resources, IT etc.

A complete central database of all FEDO staff in central and district office Developed and maintained.

A three-year procurement plan prepared.

IT committee, fundraising and proposal writing committee and staff/HR committee formed from staff and Board members to discuss each of these areas and elevated issues and suggestions to management.

Monthly staff meetings held in the Central office, to which all staff contributed in agenda items.

A visibility plan for FEDO, including a clear logo and usage guidelines developed.

 

FEDO’s operations expanded into at least 5 new districts

Permanent office space in at least two districts Purchased or constructed.

Resource centers established in at least 5 districts.

A knowledge centre and conference hall in FEDO’s Central Office Established.

Membership records improved by creating a complete and comprehensive membership list in all districts

Membership increased by at least 10%.

FEDO’s constitution reviewed and revised as necessary.

An international advisory committee established.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SWOT Analysis

To assess the FEDO's strengths and weaknesses from its Board members and staff based on the experiences during the implementation period (2002-2007), attendees at FEDO’s strategic planning session on 25 and 26 December 2009 carried out a SWOT (Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis, which has been further developed by the strategic planning committee. The analysis focused particularly but not exclusively on FEDO’s activities in the previous year, and is reproduced below.

 

Program Area

Strengths

Weaknesses

Opportunities

Threats

Education

32 Dalit womenwere enrolled in a 15-month long Community Medical Assistant course,

3,000 Dalit children were sent to school after FEDO’s school enrolment campaign.

2,000 Dalit men and women attended and benefited from literacy classes in the past.

 

FEDO discontinued its scholarship programme several years ago.

Lack of records and monitoring means that we cannot assess the full scope of our achievements.

There are not sufficient education awareness programs.

There has been a lack of coordinated advocacy on education by FEDO, as well as a lack of coordination with educational institutions.

 

Education is an area that donors are keen to support,

The government is focusing strongly on primary education at this time.

The government has begun to provide scholarship for poor Dalit students, which could be expanded.

Many private schools are willing to provide scholarships for poor and marginalized students when approached.

 

Many Dalits fall into the category of the poorest and hardest-to-reach families, who are often missed by government programmes.

Implementation of government policies is still problematic at district level.

Discrimination against Dalit students continues in schools.

Child marriage, particularly of girls, prevents many students from continuing their education.

Health and Sanitation

50 Dalit health personnel (including Community Medical Assistants, Auxiliary Nurse/Midwives and lab assistants) have been trained by FEDO.

In Siraha and Rupandehi, FEDO has provided basic health care and awareness through mobile clinics.

HIV/AIDS and reproductive health campaigns have been effective in increasing awareness and empowerment of vulnerable women.

FEDO has developed a strong relationship with local health institutions, particularly in districts where it is conducting health programmes.

Awareness of health issues has increased such that there is now a strong demand for health and nutrition information among Dalit communities.

Health programmes require significant resources, which have been difficult to secure.

Although our programmes have been effective where we have launched them, they have not been particularly widespread because of cost and capacity.

The problem of uterus prolapsed continues to be largely unaddressed.

There is a lack of documentation and records, making it difficult to assess the true scope of FEDO’s work.

Focus has been taken from this issue because of energy devoted to the constitution-making process.

There has been insufficient focus on reproductive and family planning.

Health advocacy has been limited, and largely uncoordinated and unplanned.

 

International donors are interested in funding this area.

The government is focusing on health-care as a priority area, and through liaison FEDO is able to direct resources to needy government'shealth -friendly policies,

changing political context

Increased interest and awareness among Dalit communities makes them very receptive to health care projects and information

  •  

political instability,

negative attitude of service providers,

no access by Dalits to the decision making process

caste discrimination continues to affect the access of Dalits particularly to health care services

providing services in remote areas remains difficult, expensive and hard to monitor

Organizational Development

expansion to 45 district chapters

strong network built at the national and international level

1500 women groups are established around the country

FEDO has more than 32,000 women members

5 of the Dalit women CA members are FEDO members

 

There is a communication gap between FEDO central office and district chapters

Lack of some capacities among some staff and board members

District chapters are highly dependent to FEDO central office,

There is a lack of professionalism in some aspects of FEDO’s work.

FEDO’s management is aware of the need for reforms and keen to introduce them

FEDO plans to employ a full-time national manager in the near future, who will focus on administrative and management issues in the central office, which is an opportunity to introduce permanent improvements

FEDO now has a legal officer who can help provide legal advice on the organizational structure and issues.

Board members are not necessarily greatly experienced, which means their capacity for properly overseeing FEDO’s activities is not always strong.

Senior management is often focused on donor-related activities, which leaves little time for internal organizational management.

 

 

Advocacy

Mobilized a number of activists, through training and creation of women’s groups, in many districts of Nepal.

strongly engaged with awareness-raising among the Dalit community on the constitution-making process,

Strong alliances built with a number of organizations in Nepal, including both women’s organizations (such as Saathi, FWLD, LACC) and Dalit organizations (such as DNF, NNDSWO, DWO).

FEDO has developed relationships internationally with a number of organizations including New York University Centre for Human Rights and Social Justice, IDSN, the Centre Coalition for Electoral Reform in India among others.

Following FEDO’s awareness-raising activities, Dalit women have been included in local peace committee and forestry users' groups in many districts.

Advocacy has often been disorganized and ad-hoc rather than planned and strategic.

Networking and coordination with other organizations is often limited and must be enhanced.

There is a lack of expertise and training for potential women leaders, particularly at local level.

Often there is insufficient follow through on issues FEDO is lobbying about.

There is almost no documentation to show the impact of FEDO’s activities

FEDO has significantly underutilized the media in its advocacy to date.

Staff and Board do not always have a deep level of expertise in the areas of FEDO’s advocacy.

Even when FEDO has succeeded in achieving policy or legal change, the failure to implement laws and policies remains a significant problem.

Strategic plan with clear advocacy objectives will facilitate advocacy planning over the next three years.

Recent training have assisted with media skills among central office members

The constitution-making process provides an important structure and rallying point for coordination with other organizations.

 

FEDO lacks staff with experience in advocacy planning and strategy

There are a number of key issues which require an in-depth expertise, which is not always held by FEDO.

Particularly in relation to the constitution-making process, other organizations will directly and strongly oppose FEDO’s ideas.

 

Economic Empowerment

5000 Dalits benefited directly by small grants or microfinance programmes over the past 7 years.

In Lalitpur and Doti districts especially,women’s group members received improved seeds distributed by Agricultural Development Office(ADO),

Some board members (at central and district levels) have been employed based on FEDO’s recommendation,

Dalits have successfully received loans from the ADO to start small businesses.

FEDO has not worked greatly on the issue of landlessness, which remains a significant problem for Dalits, particularly in regional areas where agriculture remains the dominant livelihood.

Much of our economic empowerment activities are programme-oriented and cannot provide longer-term assistance and support.

FEDO has not always been able to provide sufficient support to establish successful savings and credit programmes in its women’s groups.

The new constitution and subsequent legislation will develop a land reform policy, which is an opportunity for FEDO to create a lasting improvement in Dalits’ access to economic resources.

Significant experience in Lalitpur district can be rolled out to other districts to establish successful savings and credit and cooperative programmes among women’s groups.

Integration of economic empowerment with other programme activities (including domestic violence) can provide a more holistic approach to the empowerment problem.

Direct individual sponsorship from international individual donors may be possible.

 

The government has been slow to act on land reform

The new constitution draft on property rights suggests a regime which might not be favourable to Dalit interests.

The issue of land has recently reignited violence and is threatening the peace process, particularly in western districts.

FEDO does not have reliable information on landholding.

 

 



[1] Source of the above data: Census 2001, and UNDP Human Development Report, 2004

[2] UNDP Nepal Human Development Report 2009, p 163 Table 11.

3 between 1991 and 2000 women made up only 7.8% of civil service employees: UNDP Nepal Human Development Report p 164 Table 14.

[4] UNDP Nepal Human Development Report 2009 p 163 Tables 9 and 10.

[5] Paudel, Giridhari Sharma, “Domestic Violence Against Women in Nepal” (2007) 11 Gender Technology and Development 199 at 211.

[6] Ibid at 212.

[7] UN Country Team, Common Country Assessment Nepal 2007, p 62.

[8] Saathi, A Situational Analysis of Violence Against Women and Girls in Nepal, 1997, p 16.

[9] Saathi, ibid, p 16.

[10] See eg the report by the Asian Human Rights Commission at http://www.ahrchk.net/ua/mainfile.php/2009/3142, accessed 14 October 2009.

 



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