Shilpa Dhungel, kathmandu. The feeling displayed an individual with increasing age regarding to sexual, emotional and physical behavior is regarded as sexuality.
This is confined to knowledge incorporated by the society on gender basis, as male or female. But with his/her growth and growing age, the person can find him/her different to the gender parameter of male or female. Such person not in such group of male or female is not accepted in Nepalese society even in this so called human civilized era of gender equality.
Nepalese society is still a male dominating where women are regarded as inferior to men. Women are still considered as sexual means. The care and concern about women consent for sexuality is still low. However, constitutional and legal provisions have made it preserved in recent years.
With this prevailing situation, we can easily imagine of what might be the status of diable person in the society. More seriously, how unfair and hard situation exists for disable Nepalese women, that too on issue of sexuality which is still believed to be confidential with reluctancy to discuss openly.
Many studies conducted in Nepal have one common finding of physical, emotional and sexual harassment of Nepalese disable women either in thought or in behavior of the people who are called able by the social, legal and medical standards.
Being a women in Nepalese society is a challenge itself as women are still not listened and equally treated as men on general social thought and behavior. Being a disable at the same time multiplies the challenge many times. The thought of disable women being weak and un-expressive on sexuality has resulted in sexual harassment by friends, known seniors and in some worse cases by the family members.
Many still believe such disable women do not have sexual feeling at all which is surprisingly disgusting as disability never mean weakened physiological and emotional consciousness driven psychologically. Many of such women are being harassed with the believe that they can never have legal remedial access.
With the above discussed situations, it must be admitted that consciousness of disable women themselves have risen in recent years. They are more aware of their sexual right and ready to discuss any issue of sexuality in any platform of discussion forum and dialogue series conducted at government or no-government levels.
The respect level for such women has grown due social awareness and legal strict provisions. The spread of education, social media, internet access, disable lead organisations working for disable, disable advocacy forum etc. has started changing the situation. But the change is slow and minimal so far.
Sexuality is feeling developed as a result of physiological changes expressed in emotion and behavior. Nepalese society is has its own social understanding and perception regarding sexuality of male, female and others. Being a masculine society, women are still perceived as means of sex.
Women are still considered weak on every aspect including sexuality, sexual and reproductive health rights. The perception and perspective in context of disable women is more concerning.
Limited access to social and legal system by disable Nepalese women has contributed to their low voices in sexuality related issues. To more than larger extent, this has led to social, physical, behavioural and sexual harassment of such women.
However, it must be admitted that change in such perception is rising. But the growth of the rise is low. Preservative legal and regulatory provisions have developed a kind of fear among those who are on course of any sexual misbehave with disable Nepalese women. The risen social works from government and non-government sectors have made disable women aware, advocating and openly discussing on any issues of sexuality. What is still important is safety at home, neighbours and close mates regarding sexuality.
The educated generation coming are highly conscious of what is not to be done against sexuality of disable women. This is highly appreciable. Still, being educated and being civilized and aware is distinctly different. Hence, the perception of sexuality of disable Nepalese women demand for change in mentality at individual, family, society and at policy making level too. Only this can ensure safe, equal and rightful sexuality status with dignity for Nepalese disable women.
Written By: Shilpa Dhungel Co-Founder, Prayatna Nepal