December 2023 Analysis: Gender, Social Inclusion & Human Rights

Posted by : Bhumika Shah


Date : 2023-12-29

Nepal appoints its very first female foreign Secretary, Sewa Lamsal paving a route for  involvement of women in Nepal’s diplomacy at a higher level. The court gives a sentence of  life imprisonment for 24 guilty individuals related to the murder case of Nabraj bk and his friends setting a great example of caste based inclusion. Nepal will be hosting an international  tourism conference for gender and caste based minorities from all over the world. The  Kathmandu District court convicts Sandeep Lamichhane of rape after constant postponing of  the hearings.

Timeline of major events

Date Events
December 5, 2023 Court sentenced life imprisonment to 24 people involved in the murder  of Nabraj BK
December 15, 2023 Sewa Lamsal is appointed as the first Foreign Secretary of Nepal
December 29, 2023 Court gives long awaited verdict on the Sandeep Lamichhane  controversy

Justice is served: Nabraj BK’s murder case

A 19 year old Dalit boy, Nabraj BK and his friends were killed three and a half years ago in the  pretext of marriage between Dalit and non-Dalit which shook the entire nation making it the infamous  case of Rukum in 2020. After a continuous tussle , the court made a decision of life imprisonment to  24 individuals who were involved in the heinous crime on December 5, 2023.

This incident of caste based discrimination depicts the true picture of the society in rural areas where  the notion of equality is still misunderstood. However, the verdict of the court, makes us hopeful  about the fact that our judicial system condemns caste based segregation and promotes equality in  respect to gender, caste and ethnicity. This is also a call for us to focus on vulnerable areas to promote  the idea of equality and inclusion, in order to prevent the unfortunate deaths of several other Nabraj  BKs. A study has shown that 40 Dalits  have been killed in the last 12 years following even after the  enactment of Caste based discrimination and Untouchability Act which shows how pepper laws  haven’t been established to safeguards the Dalits in our community. Hence, it becomes a dire  necessity for the government to formulate the acts strictly to accommodate the safety of these groups  of people.

Nepal gets its first Female Foreign Secretary

On the news this month that highlights gender representation at its best capacity, is the recruitment of  a female foreign secretary in Nepal for the first time. Sewa Lamsal joined office as the first foreign  secretary of Nepal on 15th December, 2023. Lamsal had earlier served as Joint-Secretary and Head  of United Nations, International Organizations, and International Law Division. She was the  official Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 09 October 2020 to 14 December  2023.

This historic appointment has paved a route for female representation in the Ministry of Foreign  affairs at the higher level and also exposes the bitterful truth of how, women still have a long way  to go for acquiring equal representation when it comes to direct participation in Nepal’s  diplomacy.

Nepal to host an international tourism conference for gender and caste  based minorities

For the first time, Nepal will host an international tourism conference that highlights the  experiences of sexual and gender diversity. The conference for sexual and gender diversity is  slated for January 18 and 19, 2019, with the subject being "Journey to Happiness” in association with Nepal Tourism Board (NTB), Maya's Identity Nepal, Pahichan Foundation, and Gorkha  International Rainbow. The conference can be a medium for promoting Nepal among the South Asian region as a firm  supporter of gender and sexual minorities and can mark Nepal’s solidarity with the community in the  international sphere. Nepal has established itself as the first South asian country to legalise same sex  marriage as well as implementing it, and Nepal doesn’t seem to stop at that. Nepal is opting to leave a  positive remark on an international level which is extremely commendable.

Court gives a long awaited verdict on the Sandeep Laimichhane  Controversy

After a long run of delay in the hearing of the infamous Sandeep Lamichhane controversy,  Kathmandu district court has finally convicted Lamichhane of a rape case on December 29, 2023.  However, the hearing on January 10, 2023 will determine the imprisonment period. The complaint  against him was filed on September 2022 where he was accused of raping a minor before flying to  West Indies for the Caribbean Premier League the very next day.
Although critics have accused the court for deliberately delaying the verdict as well as trying to have  the verdict in lamichhane’s favor, it cannot be a remiss that our judicial system has in fact provided  justice to the victim even though it was a national level esteemed cricketer against her. Whatever is  wrong has no justification and one needs to be accountable for their actions regardless of the position  they might hold.