Shadow letter to CEDAW on the rights of women and girls in Nepal

On June 7, 2011, the Center for Reproductive Rights, Justice for All, and the Women's Reproductive Rights Program of the Centre for Agro-Ecology and Development submitted a shadow letter to the 49th session of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women on the sexual and reproductive rights of women and girls in Nepal.

Nepal's women and girls-specifically adolescents, rural women, and poor women-suffer under elevated rates of maternal mortality and morbidity, and face discrimination because of early marriage and pregnancy, poverty, and the underdevelopment of health services in rural areas. This letter identifies three ways for the government to alleviate these conditions:

  • Address the widespread problem of uterine prolapse.
  • Create, and make affordable, access to safe abortion services.
  • Increase the availability of contraceptives.

A speedy implementation of two landmark reproductive rights decisions by the Supreme Court concerning access to abortion and the prevention of uterine prolapse will greatly accelerate progress on these fronts.