Dalit women rue govt, NGO apathy

Kathmandu, July 26:

The government has not come up with any specific policy or programme to ensure Dalit women’s participation in the media, Dalit rights activists said today.

“Even the non-government organisations working for the Dalits were unable to see to it that women in the community got an opportunity to develop themselves. The NGOs are only limited to week-long trainings, which do give them an opportunity to broaden their knowledge base, but not solve their problems entirely” said Pabitra Sunar, a Dalit rights activist, told a press conference here.

According to her, the Dalit women are backward in comparison with women of other communities due to economical, social and gender discrimination. Dalit women are more discriminated in comparison to Dalit men in society, she added.

There is no participation of Dalit women in the media. According to a recent survey, there are no representatives of Dalit women in the radio and the print media, while only 0.4 per cent of the total media workers in television channels are Dalit women.

On the other hand, the survey found out that there are 89.2 per cent men, 10.8 per cent non-Dalit women and 0.22 per cent Dalit men working in the media.

Unless the women of the community themselves have a say in the media, their issues cannot be raised effectively, Sunar said. Durga Sob, president of the Feminist Dalit Organisation, said Dalit women are deprived of their fundamental rights, political rights and economic benefits and do not have access to any state mechanism.