LGBTI community has both opportunities and challenges: USAID

Kathmandu (Pahichan) April 11 – USAID, world’s premier international development agency, has said LGBTI community has both opportunities and challenges. Democracy, Human Rights and Governance Officer of USAID Leah Kaplan said that she is curious to know about the challenges in the implementation of constitution, the campaign of this community and newly emerged challenges.

 Speaking at a discussion program between Federation of Sexual and Gender Minority and USAID, she enquired about the activities being carried out targeting this community and existing challenges. She pledged to provide necessary resources to this community. “Our country also faced same policy related problems while implementing the federal structures. Nepal could be facing the similar problems,” she said. She said provinces could make their own separate laws. “The provincial laws should not miss the issues of this community,” she said.

Deputy Program Director of Diwa Project of BDS Sanjay Sharma said homosexual women are still facing double discrimination. Sharma said only BDS is speaking in favor of this community. He said the constitutional provisions relating to this community has not been implemented and there are not reservations of this community in government jobs.

Vice-President of Federation Bhumika Shrestha said that Nepal is the first country in South Asia to ensure the constitutional rights of this community. She informed that advocacy programs are underway across the country about the constitutional rights of this community.

“In comparison to past, social attitude towards this community is very positive and there are pressure on political leadership to protect the rights of this community,” Shrestha said. Program Coordinator of Federation Simran Sherchan informed that various pressures have been excreted to change the law and force the society to accept this community.

Sherchan said district administration offices are still reluctant to provide citizenship on the basis of identity.  The discussion was focused on lack of adequate budget, poor implementation of law and lack of same-sex marriage law.