More Then Two and Half Decades of Activism
After the triumph of the People’s Movement II (April 2006), Nepal has entered a new phase in its history. The issues of restructuring the state and inclusive democracy have never been raised to such an extent before. Janajatis (ethnic groups), Dalits (oppressed castes), Madhesis (dwellers of the southern plain- the Terai), Karnalibasis (inhabitants of western and far-western regions), women, and other minorities, all have become extremely assertive in their demands. However, it is not unusual because a small group has dominated them for centuries.
The present context has provided a unique opportunity for women, as for other oppressed groups, to realize their long-lasting demand of social justice and equality. Now the country has become a Federal State where there is no space for the centuries-old Monarchism. Instead of previously used 14 Zones, the country now is going to be administered in different Provinces.
In such circumstances, though, the newly promulgated Constitution of Nepal (2015) has ensured many equal rights to women, still it is discriminatory on some prominent issues like citizenship.
ASMITA has already been active in advocating women’s issues/concerns in the changed context through various means of communication & initiatives. Established by a nucleus of women activists in 1988, Asmita Women’s Publishing House, Media and ResourceOrganization (ASMITA) is a non-profit, non-political and non-governmental organization.
During 1980’s, at a time when the country was ruled by the ruthless Panchayat autocracy, participation of Nepali women in the public sphere was very low. Media was also not giving proper importance to women rights issues. In this backdrop, ASMITA came into existence with the publication of Asmita magazine.
Initially, the organization started its activism by the publication of a feminist magazine Asmita- the first of its kind in the country.
After 1991, the organization broadened and diversified its activities. It was committed to find new ways and directions for women’s empowerment and gender equality. Subsequently, ASMITA is continuing its activism for women empowerment and gender equality adopting various strategies along with the contemporary contexts, in the last 27 years. After a struggle for more than two and half decades, the organization has now been converted into a substantial pressure group.
Vision: Creation of a just, equitable& violence free society for dignified life of women.
Mission: To promote women empowerment, gender equality, human rights & inclusive democracy.
Objectives: ASMITA’s major objective is to advocate for gender equality, women’s human rights & empowerment, through various initiation including using different means of communication. Other specific objectives of the organization are:
- To advocate political, social, cultural and economic rights of women and their full enjoyment through feminist perspectives;
- To influence the development of political, social, cultural, economic, constitutional & legal framework for promoting gender equality;
- To create awareness to eliminate gender based violence;
- To enrich feminist discourse in Nepali society through media production & by writing and publishing various kinds of books and media materials.
- To create & educate gender–biases free media & media organization; to create a skilled gender conscious work force in the sector of media;
- To make women aware about the potential of the media in bringing change in their life;
- To set up an information and knowledge bank about Nepali women and provide up-to-date information on contemporary feminist and gender issues;
- To develop women’s capacity & competency in related areas;
- To explore the actual situation of Nepali women through research/surveys from feminist and/or gender perspective;
- To raise awareness on contemporary women’s problems/issues through larger conferences & extensive interaction programs;
- To developed a network with community based women’s groups and organizations in order to increase their knowledge on the use of media and information, communication technologies for women’s empowerment and gender equality.
Advocacy & leadership
Research & policy analysis
Public relation & Networking