Manisha Dhakal - How to Advocate Government Officials to Develop Inclusive Policies for LGBT People

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Oct 09, 2015
by Heather Jaber
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Manisha Dhakal - How to Advocate Government Officials to Develop Inclusive Policies for LGBT People

Manisha Dhakal, deputy director of Blue Diamond Society, on Nepal’s unique progress and continuous advocating for policy change

While some South Asian countries still adhere to colonial law against homosexuality, Nepal enjoys relatively greater freedoms as it was never colonized. While other penal codes may persecute individuals engaging in consensual same-sex relations, there may be more access points for LGBT rights in Nepal.

Manisha Dhakal, deputy director of Blue Diamond Society in Nepal, described Nepal’s relatively open environment in regard to media and political engagement, but also highlighted some barriers to LGBT rights in the country. 

At the third Salzburg Global LGBT Forum, Manisha led a group discussion on working with authorities and mobilizing communities in Nepal. The Blue Diamond Society was started in 2001 to promote rights for sexual minorities. Dhakal spoke of the legal landscape and community mobilization within Nepal.

She spoke of the strategies Blue Diamond Society uses to raise awareness, such as using HIV prevention as a means to work for LGBT issues. “Within [the past 14-15 years], we changed a lot," she explained during her work shop at the gathering. "We entered in the HIV prevention program and slowly we strategized our activities into the rights issues.”

Manisha also highlighted the importance of working with those within the system to make change and described her work with religious leaders, the government, the police, judges, and parliaments to advocate for change. Sometimes the biggest obstacle, Manisha explained, is for these officials to find the time to meet with you. 

Listen to the full clip of the interview about LGBT rights issues in Nepal below.


The Salzburg Global program Strengthening Communities: LGBT Rights & Social Cohesion is part of the Salzburg Global LGBT Forum. The list of our partners for Session 551 can be found here. For more information, please visit: www.salzburgglobal.org/go/551

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