In honor of International Women’s Day on 8 March 2023, the SDDC consortium members in Nepal and their partner organizations dedicated to working with people with disabilities put up a photo exhibition at the Staff College in Jawalakhel, Lalitpur, Nepal. The exhibition “My Lens, My Reality” showcased remarkable achievements of women with disabilities who have triumphed over multiple forms of discrimination.
As the chief guest at the event, Honorable Member of Federal Parliament Sobita Gautam highlighted the importance of technology and innovation in development. Hon. Gautam shared positive developments that disability rights advocates and the government of Nepal have made towards the inclusion of people with disabilities and improving accessibility.
The event was inspired by a photovoice study on Nepal’s women with disabilities, conducted by the University of Bern. The Country Coordinator of FAIRMED, Nirmala Sharma, shared the summary of the study and spoke about the importance of creating a supportive environment that enables women with disabilities to contribute significantly to society.
To mark this important day, a panel discussion on the technological barriers and enablers of inclusion for women with disabilities in the social, economic, and political sectors” instead of “the technological barriers and enablers of inclusion of women with disabilities in the social, economic, and political sectors was held at the event. Suraj Sigdel, Country Director, CBM- Global Nepal, emphasized the importance of providing digital accessibility to women with disabilities. He said, “To lead the future, women with disabilities must have access to the digital world.”
Pauline Nadim Ducos, Regional Program Director of Handicap International, expressed her appreciation for the Swiss Disability and Development Consortium, partner organizations of persons with disabilities in Nepal, and the ten women who shared their stories through photography. She said, “Your collective efforts have contributed to raising awareness and promoting inclusion for persons with disabilities, particularly women in Nepal.” Ducos appealed to all development partners, the government, INGOs, local NGOs, and organizations of people with disabilities to continue working collaboratively towards reducing inequalities by developing innovative and transformative solutions.
Distinguished guests also attended the event, including Honorable Members of Federal Parliament Sobita Gautam and Prakash Pantha, both of whom have been strong advocates for the rights of persons with disabilities and Honorable Member of Provincial Assembly Laxmi Ghimire, who has actively promoted inclusion and accessibility for persons with disabilities at the local level.
Devi Dutta Acharya, President of the National Federation of Disabled-Nepal, emphasized the inclusion of the most marginalized women living in remote areas of Nepal to ensure ‘leave no one behind.’ Overall, the event emphasized the importance of creating an inclusive society that values diversity and promotes equality, empowering women with disabilities, and reducing inequalities by developing innovative and transformative solutions.