Sunil Babu Pant/Pahichan – Blue Diamond Society and personally myself are exited to update you all that the Nepal’s ‘bill of a new the constitution’ has just been endorsed by the constituent assembly with more than two third majority today. The phrase ‘gender and sexual minority’ are mentioned in two places: in article 18 (right to equality) and in article 42 (social justice).
‘Gender identity’ is mentioned in article 12 (citizenship ID). Several other articles are written in a gender neutral language which are equally applicable to GSM communities. The constitution is set to be approved by the president of Nepal on coming Sunday, 20th September. This is the first time ever that Nepal’s constitution has included GSM’s rights.
Comparing at the GSM’s situation in the Asia region and beyond, it’s phenomenal that Nepal is embracing GSM citizens and started establishing our identity, rights and representations through the new constitution. It feels that we, the GSM, are proud citizen of Nepal, we also have dignity and we are also the right holder. But we are not in an illusion to the fact that this is just the beginning of the long road ahead towards full equality, dignity, rights and mainstreaming of GSM communities in Nepal. I personally like to congratulate to each and every gender and sexual minority communities of Nepal for this fantastic achievement, all your tireless hard work is being paid off and hope that the road ahead won’t as bumpy as it used to be so far.
I would also like to thank all constituent assembly members from both (1st and 2nd) the constituent assemblies. Our gratitude to Nepal government, both local and international activists, Nepalese fellow NGOs, National Human Rights commission, OHCHR, development partners, media, donors, UN. Our biggest thanks to our families, friends and relatives.We look forward to your continuous love, solidarity and cooperation. Thank you all.
We are ready to forget all the discrimination, violence and exclusion of the past and move on with even greater integrity, responsibility and dedication to contribute towards the Nation building process. We will be working together with the rest of the Nepalese to build our nation, the ‘new, inclusive and prosperous Nepal’.
with love and solidarity!
(PS: A very special thanks to all Blue Diamond Society board members, members, previous/current staff, FSGMN (Federation of Sexual and Gender Minority Nepal) and all other LGBTI organizations in Nepal)
Article 12 (Citizenship ID) of the new constitution states that people have the right to have citizenship ID that reflects their gender identity.
Article 18 (Right to Equality) covers rights to equality and states that the State will not ‘discriminate against any citizens based on origin, religion, race, caste, tribe, gender, language or ideological conviction or likely any other status.’
Article 18 also lists ‘Gender and Sexual Minority people’ among disadvantaged groups that are recognized by the constitution.
‘Nothing shall be deemed to prevent the making of special provisions by law for the protection, empowerment or advancement of the interests of socially and culturally disadvantaged women, Dalits, indigenous peoples, tribes, Madhesi, Tharu, Muslim, ethnic minorities, backward classes, minorities, marginalized, farmers, workers, youth, children, senior citizens, gender and sexual minorities, handicapped persons, pregnant persons, disabled or helpless, people of backward regions and economically disadvantaged citizens,’ the new constitution states.
Article 18 also replaces language in the old constitution that references ‘male and female’ and ‘son or daughter’ with gender neutral terminology.
Article 42 (Social Justice) of the new constitution lists ‘gender and sexual minorities,’ among groups that will have right to participate in state mechanisms and public services based on the ‘principle of inclusion.’