Prominent Reproductive Rights Advocate Named to Nepal’s Constituent Assembly
The Center for Reproductive Rights congratulates Sapana Malla, a leading Nepali women’s rights advocate, for being named to the Constituent Assembly of Nepal, the body charged with drafting the country’s new constitution. In January 2007, Nepal adopted an interim constitution, to remain in place while steps were taken to create a Constituent Assembly that would draft a new constitution. Advocacy by the Center and the Forum for Women, Law, and Development–a Nepali NGO of which Ms. Malla is founder–led to the recognition of reproductive rights as fundamental rights in Nepal’s interim constitution. This marks the first time that a government in the region has explicitly recognized women’s reproductive rights as human rights in a national constitution.
The naming of Sapana Malla to the Constituent Assembly is a good indication that the women of Nepal will indeed have a strong advocate on the Assembly. The Center has worked closely with FWLD for the past eight years. In 2000, it collaborated with FWLD to document human rights violations experienced by women imprisoned for abortion. The findings of this report contributed to the decriminalization of abortion in Nepal 2002 and the release of women.