Organizational profile of National Alliance of Women Human Rights Defenders (NAHWRD)
Name of Organization (Network )
National Alliance of Women Human Right Defenders ( NAWHRD)
Date of establishment
NAWHRD is a loose network which is not been registered yet
District(s), State or province, country of operation
Contact person with designation
Dr. Renu Adhikari,
National Alliance of Women Human Rights Defenders
Narayani Devkota, Secretariat Coordinator,
National Alliance of Women Human Rights Defenders
Head Office NAWHRD
Balkumari, Lalitpur, Nepal
Ph. No. +977-01-5529841
National Alliance of Women Human Right Defenders (NAWHRD) is a vibrant, strong and active women’s network working from feminist perspective. It is one of the largest existing loose networks guided by human right principles, democratic values and practices. The recognition of the work of women for protection, promotion and security of women’s right to live with dignity as human rights work; creating and advocating for safety mechanisms for Women Human Rights Defenders (WHRD) at private and public life are the key principles of NAWHRD.
This is a loose network extended to all 75 districts of Nepal. The secretariat is located within registered member organization. The network members based in Kathmandu takes turn to hold the secretariat as legal entity, however secretariat functions independently. Action plan of the network gets endorsed by General Assembly every year. The executive committee meets every three months and makes sure of its implementation. Executive committee also takes emerging issues related with WHRDs into action according to the need.
NAWHRD supports Women Human Rights Defenders by building their capacity, supporting them at time of distress, advocating collectively for recognition of their work as human rights work and create protection mechanisms for them. NAWHRD also supports women whose rights gets violated- specially victims of different forms of violence and further advocates for required policy change to ensure rights of all women specially women from marginalized groups
NAWHRD follows different movements:
Rights for women with disability, women’s rights toland, women’s right to housing, women’s right to gender and caste equality (Badi Women’s Movement), the Madheshi Women’s Right, sexual rights for women, women’s right to work (especially in the entertainment sector), the rural women’s right, Muslim women rights, the right to safety (freedom from violence), LGBTQ, migrant women workers, women’s right to natural resources, indigenous women’s’ rights, and youth rights.
Issues of NAWHRD
Women human rights defenders are those who through any dimension work for strengthening women human rights. Their role is to challenge the patriarchal structure, and the role demands special security, awareness and sensitivity. As women human rights defenders they are poised to additional gender based challenges and gender based violence and threats. Being WHRDs and working for issues related with women in patriarchal society is not an easy task. This becomes more complicated when women from marginalized community rural background from self representative groups advocates for the rights which was considered contagious issues in the society. Violence within intimate relationship, sexual orientation, sexual right , women’s control over their body, land right and rights of women working within sex industry are few among various others. Women working in these areas have to face different forms of attack and marginalization because of their work, which is considered as a work that challenges socially defined roles; and because they have secondary status as women that can be even lower or if they come from self representative groups, rural areas and are less educated.
The mission of NAWHRD network is to advocate collectively and engaged from grassroots to national level for creation of women right friendly environment and also to advocate for recognition and security of WHRDs (Women Human Rights Defenders).
To create conducive environment for WHRDs where WHRDs can enjoy their right to defend human right and enjoy their human right without being abused, stigmatized for who they are and for what they do .
Overall goal of this network is to advocate for recognition and security of WHRDs.
To promote greater recognition of Women Human Rights Defenders
To strengthen the movements of WHRDs from grassroots to National level through campaigns, action alerts, and other public awareness strategies
To document violence against WHRDs cases systematically and advocate for their safety and relevant policy reforms.
To facilitate for the capacity/knowledge/skills building for the WHRDs.
Currently, our activities/campaigns are focused on:
Lobby for to insure women leadership in local level election.
Identify security needs for the WHRDs and engaged with concerned agencies for protection
Ensuring security of Women Human Rights Defenders working against patriarchal socio-cultural norms, values and practices, sexual violence/sexual rights, Identity and right to land, housing.
Advocacy for creating safety nets of WHRDs from grass root to National level enabling them to get heard represented and counted.
Lobby and advocacy for new constitution to ensure the social and economic rights of women
Strengthening of National Alliance of Women Human Right Defenders, District Network and at national level networks,
Engage with different stakeholders for security and protection.
Document the cases of violence against WHRDs, analysis and circulate the information if when needed.
Develop the IEC related the WHRD campaign.
Capacity building of WHRDs working on above mentioned areas to understand, analyze and document the issues from Human Rights perspective.
Lobby and ensuring women’s participation and leadership in reconstruction and rebuilding process in earthquake affected disaster areas.
Organizes National seminars, commissioned different campaigns.
Name of Governing Body (Executive Board Members) of NAWHRD (For the year 2016-18)
Dr.Renu Adhikari– Chairperson (Represented in alliance as women right activist)
Ms. Bimala Tamang– Vice-Chairperson (Represented in alliance from women’s movement for housing right self-representative women living in slums, Province 3)
Ms. Radhika Sapkota – General Secretary (Lawyer, Province 3)
Ms. Laxmi Acharya – Secretary (Represents women in media and mid-western region of the country, Province 5)
Ms. Shrijana Pun- Treasurer (Represented in alliance from entertainment sector, Province 3)
Ms. Jyotsna Maskay– Member (Represented from sexuality and multi generation activist, Province 3)
Ms. Nirmala Dhital- Member (Represented in alliance from movement of women with disability, self-representative, Province 3)
Ms. Manjita Upadhyaya- Member (Represented from east, Province 1)
Ms.Shyam Kumari Shah- Member (Represented from Tarai region, madheshi women, Province 2)
Ms.Sarmila Thapa Magar-(Represented by earth quake affected area, province 3)
Ms. Indira Acharya- (Represented from Western Region)
Advocate Saral Pandey (Representing province 4)
Ms. Pabitra Shahi- (Represented from Far Western Region, Province 6)
Organizational (Network) Structure
Achievements of Women Human Right Defenders
Women Human Rights Defenders (WHRDs) is being recognized as a movement and their identity and works are being recognized and acknowledged by different agencies including government. The identity of WHRDs has been established from local to national level throughout the country.
The rigorous campaign of WHRDs has been pressurizing and alerting government to ensure rights and justice of women and girls in the society. NAWHRD in collaboration with other human rights organization had organized 60days of campaign against Rape (anti-rape campaign) pressuring government to come-up with the rapid redress and justice mechanism for the rape survivors. This campaign resulted in the establishment of fast tract court and also extended the provision of reporting rape case (FIR Registration) from 35 to 180 days.
Due to WHRDs movement, the community women and young girls are showing their interest to work as women rights activists.
Women participation in politics and in decision making process has been gradually increasing. 3 mayor 47 deputy mayor larger number of the members of WHRDs has been elected as chief and deputy chief including members in the local level election.
The coordination and cooperation with government agencies, non-government bodies, human right network and political parties has been increased. The service providers like police, lawyers and political leaders trust WHRDs and invite them in the decision making and justice process at local level. WHRDs coordinate with the stakeholders and in their cooperation they are conducting safe house.
NAWHRD conducted a provincial forum in all seven provinces and designed a code of conduct for the elected representatives and came up with a declaration in each province. This has provided an avenue to establish the identity of women human rights defenders and also wok in collaboration with local level government in case of need, similarly, elected women representatives got chance to have clear notion on roles and responsibilities of judicial committee and the nationwide dissemination of declaration and code of conduct has fortified a hope of change from local level itself.
After provincial feminist forums, NAWHRD conducted a National Feminist Forum where the code of conduct and declaration passed at all seven provinces were printed and hung on a flex by several local level government and incorporated the points of declaration paper in their work plan and are determined towards its implementation.
WHRDs have been a medium to speak against the violence against women as they are making strong effort for women empowerment and facilitating for the rights of survivors. In addition, they have been successfully advocating to address contemporary issues like child marriage, polygamy, dowry, witchcraft and other forms of harmful traditional practices.
Furthermore, they have been advocating to abolish discriminatory laws and policies and establish survivor’s centric rehabilitation and reintegration mechanism including provision of redress mechanism to ensure justice of the survivors.
Similarly, they have been working with the government agencies to make them accountable towards their work. They have also been advocating with the local government agencies for the allocation of funding and resources in the name of women for the realization of women’s economic and social rights.
Lastly but not the least, WHRDs has been engaged in various awareness raising and capacity building activities creating awareness about the rights of women and girls at local and district level. Similarly, they have been organizing women groups and CBOs to strengthen to work as local advocate for the rights of women and girls. They have been engaged in the collection and documentation of GBV and VAW cases from throughout the country.