GoN Institutional Mechanisms for GESI


GoN Institutional Mechanisms for GESI

Every citizen of Nepal is equal in the eyes of law and are constituently guaranteed by equal rights and opportunities. However, due to different ecological and socio-economic factors, a group or an individual fails to secure the services granted by the government. Mainly, women, Janajatis, Dalits, Muslims, disabled, aged, and economically poor are left behind in getting the services. This shows how unjust the government management is towards the deprived and excluded groups. Despite taking on several inclusion policies, the development of excluded groups is miserable.

In the past few decades, Nepali politics has had a rapid transformation. It witnessed several revolutions, demonstrations, protests of several excluded groups against discrimination for the political, cultural rights and identity. The Constitution of Nepal envisioned a provision to embrace inclusion approach that is GESI institutional mechanisms in central, district, and local levels with the objectives to pay equal rights to each and every citizen.1

Constitution of Nepal itself is a significant body of GESI2, though constitution (2015) has been highly criticized of not addressing various issues demanded by socially excluded groups. Constitution of Nepal (2015)formed commissions with the objectives to develop the inclusion approach under the articles, 162/63/64 as a GESI institutional mechanisms that is Muslim commission, Tharu National commission, Madhesi commission, Indigenous Nationalities Commission, National Inclusion Commission, and National Dalit Commission. While, National Planning Commission; Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare and its Department of Women Development; Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development and its Dalit and Adibasi/Janajati Coordination Committees as GESI institutional Mechanisms have been formed previously to develop an inclusive approach.

Constitutionally formed commissions, National Women’s Commission governed by the Rastriya Mahila Aayog Ain 2074, has undertaken the responsibility of gender equality, empowerment, carrying out research on women-related legal provisions, and strengthen the rules and regulations to minimize social malpractices against women and promote women’s rights3.

National Women Commission has been working on conducting various awareness programs and advocating and promoting women rights but it still needs to develop some efficient move. Still there is high representation of women from so called ‘high class.’ As a result, most of the women appointees in National Women’s Commission are because of their involvement and linkage up with political parties4.This way, definitely, GESI Mechanism is not embracing inclusive approach. Excluded marginalized women’s group have been put behind. The commission (2006, January 14) of effectively including women in mainstream development by establishing gender justice couldn’t reach the excluded marginalized women’s group.

Similarly, with an objective of  enhancing Muslim community, Muslim Commission was established  on 05/04/2012  by Nepal government for the overall financial, social, religious, and cultural development of all Muslim community.5It has been functioning with several responsibility of examining , monitoring, evaluating of prevailing legal provisions, government policy, and recommending to Government of Nepal for the creation of an enabling environment for the use of rights and benefits to the Muslim people, including managing the Madarsa co-relating with education system of  National Education System and carrying out various academic research in related fields.6 However, it has been not provided autonomous right; the forming commission is toothless7.

Similarly, Tharu Commission was formed to conduct study and research works for the protection of the rights and interest of the Tharu nationalities8. It is also observed that the TharuCommission is an achievement of Tharuhat movement. However, the Commission itself is a disappointment among Tharu leaders because of it notbeingan autonomous body. In this regard, Tharu Leader Gopal Dahit expressed his discontent about the provisions related to the commissions which have failed to outline the powers and responsibilities of these bodies. Dahit furthers aid that there should be independent commissions and identity of the communities9

In a same way, Bedh Prasad Bhattarai, secretary of National Human Rights Commission, asked the lawmakers to make provisions so that only Tharu people could be appointed as the officials and members of the Tharu Commission.10

National Dalit Commission was formed with the objectives to serve the overall situation of Dalit community, identify areas of necessary policy, legal and institutional reforms in that field, and to make recommendations to the government of Nepal11.However, the commission couldnot satisfy these excluded groups. In this regard, Dalit rights activist,BholaPaswan, expressed his disappointment on the formation of commissions that prevents representation of marginalized communities12  particularly Dalits in policy levels.

In a same way, National Inclusion Commission was formed with the objectives to work on protection of rights of interest of communities including, Khas-Arya, Backward class, persons with disabilities, senior citizens, labour, peasants, minorities and marginalized community backward class people of Karnali and the indigent class.13 Similarly, Indigenous Nationalities Commission was formed to conduct work in the interest of indigenous nationalities.

Madehsi Commission was formed with the functions and duties to conduct study and research works for the protection of rights and interests of Madhesi community14. But ambiguous hierarchy in Madhesi community appears to be the setback to take an inclusive approach. Madhesi community consists of many castes and ethnicities, not only marginalized groups. Hence, there should be provisions to ensure that the facilities provided by the state should not be used only by the elite group15. Similarly, it needs to have a clear definition of Madhesi people to efficiently use GESI approach.

These central level GESI institutional mechanisms have been running with specified objectives to work on precise areas. Various programs have been accomplished and executed, but still there are so many disagreement expressed by the excluded groups regarding the commissions, especially of not getting commission as per their interest. Still there are recommendations to be incorporated, put forward by law makers and different personalities to make commissions truly efficient for GESI.

In this regard, Member of NHRC Mohana Ansari expressed that these bodies have not been provided the power to receive complaints, investigate acts of discrimination or recommend action, and are not authorized to protect the rights of marginalized communities. In addition she said, “The commissions should act to promote policies relating to Madhesis, indigenous communities, Tharus, and Muslims to empower them as they have suffered discrimination and marginalization for centuries” 16.

Similarly, the Tharu leaders also asked the commission be made an autonomous body, rather than keeping it under any ministry17. The government designated, albeit late, secretaries in six constitutional commissions on November 11, but all of them are of hill origin. Not a single secretary was chosen from the Madhesi, Muslim or from Tarai Janajati.18. Similarly, senior advocates, Surendra Kumar, stressed that since the commissions were formed to empower deprived communities, it is all the more important to make these commissions inclusive, both in terms of office bearers and employees19.

Commissions and the mechanisms have been formed to develop an approach of GESI but are weak in mechanism process because of inadequate resources. Thus they have not been sufficiently effective in protecting and furthering the cause of GESI. There is still the dissatisfaction regarding the commissions and mechanisms. The commissions still need to come up with the proper provision of GESI, proper framework, and GESI concepts and definitions need to be made very clear.

Similarly, women and children offices, Social Committee, adibasi/Janajati District Coordination Committee and Dalit Class Coordination Committee, Gender Mainstreaming Coordination Committee, GESI Implementation Committee are district and VDC/ Municipality level GESI Mechanisms are representative-integrated planning committees to implement the projects and programs in local levels. However, this too does not appear to be efficient. These are operated under the direct watch of ‘upper class people’ who have political or social power and so the programs in the local level are offered only to their near and dear ones.

  1. __(2017). A common framework for gender equality and social inclusion. Kathmandu: GESI working Groups and International Development partners Group Nepal.
  2. ibid(p.14).
  3. 2015. National Women Commission, Nepal. retrieved date  February21, 2019
  4. – (2006). Small Citizen Big Citizen: Deprivation of Women, Dalit and Indigenous in        Nepal (ChhotaNagarikBadaNagarik). Kathmandu: DFID and the World   Bank.pp.1-117. 55,53
  5. 2015. National Muslim Commission, Nepal
  6. ibdi
  7. Ansari, Mohana.(2016).Toothless Commission. The Kathmandu Post,December 27.
  8. http://www.kullabs.com/frontend/public/index.php/classes/subjects/units/lessons/notes/note-detail/10247retrived date, February 21, 2019
  9. The rising Nepal. Tharu commission should be Autonomous. http://therisingnepal.org.np/news/15958 2019
  10. 2015. We want more powerful and resourceful Tharu commission. Indigenous Voice. December 22. Retrived Date February 21, 2019
  11. 2015. National Dalit Commission, Nepal
  12. Kamat.R.K.(2018). Govt not following inclusion policy. The Himalayan Times. November 15.
  13. http://www.kullabs.com/frontend/public/index.php/classes/subjects/units/lessons/notes/note-detail/10247retrived date, February 21, 2019
  14. ibid
  15. The Himalayan Times(2017). Madhesi commission chair members to be from same community. June 5.
  16. Ansari, Mohana.(2016).Toothless Commission. The Kathmandu Post, December 27.
  17. The rising Nepal. Tharu commission should be Autonomous.  http://therisingnepal.org.np/news/15958 2019
  18. Kamat.R.K.(2018). Govt not following inclusion policy. The Himalayan Times. November 15.
  19. Ibid
  20. 20.2017). A common framework for gender equality and social inclusion. Kathmandu: GESI working Groups and International Development partners Group Nepal.

Author: Srijana Chaudhary

Photo: Sushma Bhatta

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