Workshop on Integrating LGBTIQ Issues in Disaster Settings Held for DPNet Members
Kathmandu, Nepal - December 26, 2019: DPNet-Nepal, in collaboration with the Family Planning Association of Nepal, organized a workshop on the dissemination of LGBTIQ issues in disaster settings. The program aimed to raise awareness among DPNet members about the unique challenges faced by LGBTIQ individuals during emergencies.
The workshop commenced with opening remarks by Mr. Subash Shrestha, Program Director of FPAN Nepal, who shared the objectives of the workshop. This was followed by an address from Mr. Surya Bahadur Thapa, Chairperson of DPNet-Nepal. Mr. Thapa highlighted that the issues of LGBTIQ individuals are often overlooked in national and development agendas. He emphasized the need to prioritize these issues and incorporate them into the national strategic action plan at all levels, from the national to the provincial and local levels.
Dr. Om Maharjan and Mr. Subash Shrestha from FPAN delivered a presentation titled "Importance of Sexual and Reproductive Health in Emergencies." The presentation covered topics such as the significance of sexual and reproductive health during emergencies, minimum standards in health actions, the role of interagency working groups in reproductive health, and the importance of maternal and newborn health in crises. The program also included the screening of a video on the Minimum Initial Service Package.
Mr. Sanjay Sharma from Blue Diamond Society presented on "Mainstreaming LGBTI Rights Perspectives into Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) and Mainstreaming DRRM into our work." His presentation discussed the impact of the 2015 earthquake on the LGBTIQ community, the initiatives undertaken by the Blue Diamond Society in response to the earthquake, support for disaster relief efforts, and the specific issues faced by LGBTIQ individuals in Nepal, drawing insights from past experiences.
Ms. Manisha Dhakal, also from Blue Diamond Society, shared her personal experiences, focusing on the humanitarian crises in Nepal from the perspective of LGBTIQ individuals. She referenced the epic tale of "Ramayana" and highlighted how transgender individuals were left behind when Lord Rama asked every male and female not to follow him during his 14-year exile in the forest. She further emphasized that although Nepal is considered a progressive country in terms of LGBTIQ issues, there are still gaps in the law, particularly regarding the right of LGBTIQ individuals to marry and obtain transgender citizenship. Ms. Dhakal stressed the importance of coordination and collaboration within the network to effectively advocate for the rights of LGBTIQ individuals.
Following the presentations, participants engaged in a fruitful discussion, raising various concerns related to the integration of LGBTIQ issues in disaster management. The workshop concluded with closing remarks from Mr. Subash Shrestha, who emphasized the need for support from all stakeholders to ensure the inclusion of LGBTIQ issues in government programs.
By organizing this workshop, DPNet-Nepal and its partners aimed to promote greater understanding and inclusivity in disaster risk reduction efforts, ensuring that the unique challenges faced by LGBTIQ individuals are addressed and their rights protected during times of crisis.