The World Health Organization / World Bank report on disability worldwide states that over a billion people, about 15 percent of the world’s population, are living with some form of disability and that most this population lives in developing nations such as Nepal, where necessary supports and services are at a minimum, if they exist at all.
Persons with Disabilities (PwDs), living in remote mountainous areas of Nepal, are doubly marginalized ––first by poverty, and then by social and economic exclusion. Negative attitudes and prejudices about disability have led to a relatively low allocation of national resources to disability intervention and resulted in the exclusion of individuals with a disability.
The truth is, not much has been done by the government for girls with disabilities nationally. This means that girls with disabilities experience double marginalization — — first as girls and then as girls with disabilities.
In some rural areas of Nepal, women / girls with disabilities during their menstruation are kept in an isolated shed as it is feared that if a menstruating girl touches a man or a plant or even an animal, some bad luck befalls the family or the village.
Women / girls with disabilities who are members of minority groups are subject to multiple forms of discrimination and violence because of their race / minority, gender and disability status.
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), came into existence in 2006, is the first binding international treaty to specifically protect the rights of PwDs.
Nepal’s ratification of CRPD, in 2010, did not bring any significant change in the lives of the PwDs, especially persons with intellectual disabilities and psychosocial disabilities. Nepal had not properly assessed the laws, policies and obligations set forth by the Convention before signing it. Policymakers in Nepal therefore need to develop comprehensive understanding on Acts, laws and policies framed for persons with intellectual disabilities.