Reflection from Nepal on the Equal Rights Coalition Conference 2022

By September 30, 2022 Learning, Newsroom, Regional

Manisha Dhakal

Executive Director, Blue Diamond Society (BDS)

I attended the Equal Rights Coalition Conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina on 8th-9th September 2022. This was my first time to attend an Equal Rights Coalition global conference.

I got the opportunity to speak at the pre-conference where I raised the importance of our (Nepal) government’s presence at the next conference because it is very important to be part of ERC for governments from the Global South, East and South East Asia. I also requested ERC members to increase our community knowledge on the process of ERC membership so that we can coordinate with our government to be part of the ERC and for the ERC to support Nepal, as a UN member state, with regard to LGBTIQ human rights and SOGIESC, the UPR, etc.   With the Nepal Voluntary National Review coming up next year, I would like Nepal to be a Co-Sponsor for the side event.

I recommend to increase visibility of the activists from the Global South, South, South-east and East Asia and give them the opportunity to speak in the panel discussion. In addition, I recommend for more members from the Government from this region to be a member of ERC. For this purpose, I see the support from ERC member countries and community members.

The Equal Rights Coalition (ERC) is an intergovernmental body of 42 Member States dedicated to the protection of the rights of LGBTI persons. Member States provide leadership by actively engaging in thematic groups and commit to working closely with LGBTI civil society organisations who meet regularly as part of thematic groups.

The ERC commissioned a pre-conference report, ahead of its 2022 Convening in Buenos Aires. The report is a high-level evaluation of the ERC’s activities during Argentina and the UK’s tenure as ERC Co-chairs (June 2019 – September 2022). The findings of the report were intended to inform discussion at the Convening and, in addition to operational recommendations, make specific proposals for an MEL framework for the ERC to adopt in the immediate future.

About the contributor:

Manisha Dhakal is transgender woman with pronoun she/her. She is an LGBTIQ rights activist from Nepal. Manisha has been involved in Nepal’s LGBTI rights movement since 2001 through different projects including HIV/AIDS, human rights activism, constitutional campaigns, advocacy and capacity building, academic research, LGBTI child rights. She was the first trans woman working with the Nepal Country Coordinating Mechanism of the Global Fund.

Manisha is currently the Executive Director of the Blue Diamond Society (BDS), Nepal’s pioneer LGBTIQ rights organization & president of the Federation of Sexual and Gender Minorities of Nepal.  

Regionally, Manisha is one of the founding members of the Asia-Pacific Transgender Network.  She was one of the former Co-Chairs of the ILGA Asia Board. She is also a board member of IRGT (Innovative Response Globally for Transgender Women and HIV).

She was awarded the “Nai Ram Laxmi” in 2010 and the “Janasewa Shree 5th”, two national awards from the Nepal Government for her contributions to the LGBTI movement in Nepal. On 21 December 2007, the Supreme Court of Nepal issued a landmark verdict directing the government to enact laws enabling equal rights to LGBT citizens. Manisha was involved in court pleadings on this case on behalf of LGBTI people before the Supreme Court.

Manisha possesses a master’s degree in finance from Shanker Dev Collage, Kathmandu. 

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