Recalling the 16 days global activism against violence against women from 25 November to 10th December, Human Rights and Gender Justice Research Center continued its celebration organizing various innovative programs. The center has initiated this celebration from the year 2004 with primary objective to enhance the campaign against gender based violence in the country.
This year voicing the major theme of "Gender Dimension of Conflict", the activism started from 25th November with an official inauguration of the program on 26th November at KSL Conference hall. The session was held under chairman ship of Prof. Madhav Prasad Acharya, Professor in Charge, KSL, while chief guest was Prof. Dr. Nomita Aggarwal, Dean, Faculty of Law, Delhi University.
The inauguration session was addressed by Assoc. Prof. Yubaraj Sangroula, Executive Director, KSL that was followed by program highlights and activities by members of the centers and senior KSL Faculties. The focus of their speech was on the importance and relevancy of organizing this kind of program in getting out of insulated tradition of legal education and preparing the law students in becoming socially responsive for their community. They strongly expressed their belief that gender is fabricated norms and values of society which should be critically examined and deconstructed.
The inauguration session was followed by the theme presentation on "Gender Dimension of Conflict" by Assoc. Prof. Geeta Pathak, Coordinator, HRGJ (HoD LL.M Program). Accentuating on the importance of human dignity as a core of human rights she said there’s no use of talking about gender dimension if the subject is to be debar.
Her paper depicted the scenario of human rights violation perpetuated by the state and non state actors during conflict leading the country towards most undemocratic exercises, inhuman practices and crimes against humanity. Assoc. Prof Pathak also talked on assessment of International Concern regarding Peace and Security in Nepal
Furthermore she highlighted on the male dominance in the initiation of conflict and fighting during wars, and the active role of many women in seeking peace is largely ignored as male consider themselves to be inherently dominant, as the females tend to project themselves as ‘nurturing’ part of the society.
She focused that philosophical basis of peace requires a solution-based discussion to bridge a gap between these two different gendered ideas. The misconception dangerously is being raised for making women as clean in conflict and men as aggressor is inconsistent with the notion of human rights. Both men and women are victims of war or armed conflict - whether directly as war fatalities or casualties, or through the effect of dislocation on their livelihoods and social networks. They both are actors in supporting or opposing violence and are trying to survive the effects of conflict. As a solution she emphasized on conceptual understanding of gender, understanding the contents and understanding its context. Gender does not refer women rather justifies a social context and violence against women is a social problem and can be ended by the genuine efforts of both men and women like White ribbon movement, she concluded.
The program will proceed till 10th of December with various activities and research presentations on the same by the students.
|Advocacy Dissemination of law amendment proposal in five regions:|
Centre for Legal Research and Resource Development (CeLRRd) organized the dissemination program for the proposed draft amendment of the laws which were found to be inconsistent with international standards of fair trial in Biratnagar, Rupendhi, Nepalgunj Dhangadhi and Kathmandu on November 12, 2005. Under the program "Strengthening the Fair Trial Situation in Nepal through Enhancing the Monitoring Roles of NHRC" CeLRRd had conducted an assessment of Status of Nepali Statutes on Fair Trial Standards, which reflected the incompatible statutes and provisions provoking a severe situation of fair trial rights in Nepalese context. The provisions of the Acts were found inconsistent with fair trial standards that are laid down by the Constitution of the Kingdom of Nepal, 2047. For this, the draft amendment proposal was prepared to recommend the government for legislative reform by repealing or amending the inconsistent or contradictory provisions of statute that have ignored, violated and jeopardised the fair trial rights.
In respect to this, the draft of proposed amendments was shared in the dissemination with the participants comprised of local political leaders, law professionals, and media workers. Altogether there were one hundred and 50 participants who took part in the discussion over the drafts and provided their suggestions for further revision and consideration to give the draft its final shape.
An important suggestion from the participants was to give more attention on the provisions of laws which empowers the administration with excessive authority in putting limitation on the liberty of ordinary people. They highlighted Prison Act, Terrorist and Disruptive Activities Control and Punishment Act, Arms and Ammunitions Act, Some Public Offences Act, Explosive Materials Act to give more attention in revision of the draft.
Many of the participants suggested creating a clear distinction between administrative process and adjudication process in the Acts which have a mutual relation of these processes. Their main focus was on laws related to Customs, Excise duty, Forest, and corruption control. Some of the participants also suggested including compensatory provisions in case of detention and acquittal.
Participants strongly appreciated the provisions of the draft which have aimed to shift adjudication authority to ordinary trial courts jurisdiction.
In addition to this, Human Rights Desk for Victims, under the program, was created in Kathmandu School of law. The desk, with the aim to support victims collected applications and reports of violation of fair trial rights to submit in the National Human Rights Commission. Till the date, 96 cases have been filed to NHRC for the protection and monitoring of fair trial rights of the people. The program was supported by the Asia Foundation Nepal.
|Programme with Local Political Leader in Lahan (Siraha)|
Centre for Legal Research and Resource Development (CeLRRd) with the collaboration of local partner Community Legal Research Centre (CLRC) organised a three day long discussion programme with district level political leaders on 19th and 21st November, 2005. The programme which was attended by 37 participants from various walks of life of Siraha districts focused on the topic of constitutionalism, democratic values and methods of conflict transformation.
The programme focused on the current violent conflict; it's consequences in society and projected solution. The programme stretched on the significant role and responsibility of local political leader in identifying critically the root cause of on going conflict and to create the pressure to mainline political party.
Recognizing these as the main agendas, the discussion implicitly focused on deliverance of issues from Inclusive Democracy and electoral system, Leadership and Succession Planning, Conflict Transformation, Critical and Scientific Mindedness. Apart discussion was held to infuse the critical and scientific skills into political leaders rather than just to be a “traditional” follower.
At the first session of fist day programme, Mr. Hongkong Rana assistant professor of Kathmandu School of Law facilitated the discussion on leadership and succession planning. Speaking, Mr. Rana emphasised the importance of democratic leadership describing the different types. Mr Rana spoke that leader is built on the basis of follower, so, to make real democratic leader we follower must be democratic and conscious. He added that since we must be responsible and creditable to the results of leadership.
Talking about the provisions laid in party’s memorandum for successful planning, Mr. Rana spoke that leaders are accountable for the development but also flanged light on disappointing scenario at present. He gave many examples of home with regard to failed leadership.
The second session of the first day programme was facilitated by Mr. Tanka Raj Aryal, Research Officer of Kathmandu School of Law, on the topic of Inclusive Democracy and Electoral system. Mr. Aryal linked the issue of inclusiveness on governance process of the different section of the country. Describing the failure of political democracy, he suggested for including economic and social democracy to convert it as inclusive.
He urged the participation of women, ethnic groups, dalits, marginalized people, professional and think tanker in politics and social affairs to make the democracy inclusive which will no doubt create favorable situation for resolving conflict and ensure long term sustainable development.
Mr. Aryal presented the data of different parliamentary election in Nepal and showed the failure situation of practiced "first pass the post" election system in terms of inclusiveness. He highlighted Nepalese electoral system as hi-technical and majoritarian, which is responsible for present violent conflict. Stressing on the remedy to the present crisis he said that for people to realize that they are participating in governance process the electoral system has to completely stand for proportional system. Further he said that electoral system is the root for sustainability of inclusive democracy.
At the first session of the second day programme, Mr. Hongkong Rana discussed about critical and scientific thinking and its importance in political life. He emphasized to give up conventional thinking and analyzing style and encouraged to be scientific based on the logical and practical facts, while genbertaing ideas on any issues. Precisely, Mr. Rana suggested to buildup wider horizon on the thinking and understanding prospects. He picked out the some proverbs viz. Barma Satya Jagat Mithaya, Santosam Param Sukham and described the working style of Nepalese political leaders.
Similarly, the second session of the second day programme was facilitated by Mr. Tanka Raj Aryal on the subject of Conflict and Transformation. The discussion concentrated on the some possible causes of present violent conflict and projected solution for its transformation. Despite the complexity involved in the causes of present conflict, an attempt was made to establish the consensus and streamline among various professionals. Similarly, to inculcate the importance of conflict transformation into the mind of participants, a number of data, facts and figure relating to social, political and economic impact of conflict, destruction of physical infrastructures, loss of lives and property and terrifying situation were presented and discussed.
In the last day of the programme, the participants were called on the dais to express their insight thoughts, including range of proposed interventions, management on the resolution of the intended theme. The participants more queries were answered by the respective facilitators. Thanking the organizers the participants expressed that programme was timely and need based. They also requested to replicate similar programmes in other parts and give continuation to the programme
It was felt that active participation of participants in discussion and interaction process of each and every session was regarded as key ingredient for the success of the programme. The session was very interactive and informative to change on the idea of the thinking and building perception regarding any social and political matter.
Concluding the participants vowed to disseminate the knowledge they gained for the society and sensitize them for their rights, duties and responsibilities, as well as, political consciousness with democratic values, civic education, constitutionalism and method of conflict transformation.
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