Kathmandu: Sexual and reproductive rights of persons with disabilities are yet to be acknowledged in society, according to stakeholders working on the disability rights issue.
In a program organized by Karuna Foundation on Friday, disability rights activists outlined problems such as lack of access to reproductive health care, forced sterilization, ignorance and negligence to sexual needs and rights, deprivation of sex education, and sexual violence among persons with disabilities.
Speaking at the event, Nona Deprez, Ambassador of the European Union to Nepal said, “In March 2021, the European Commission established a strategy for the rights of people with disabilities to ensure accessibility of participation including equal access to all health services for persons with disabilities, and we want to lead by example and share this strategy with our partners around the world, including Nepal.”
Saloni Pradhan Singh, a member of the National Planning Commission, said, “The discussion on the sexual and reproductive rights of persons with disabilities has come up at a crucial time. There needs to be a political commitment, social, cultural, attitudinal and knowledge-based priority towards ensuring the rights of persons with disabilities, and we still have a long way to go.”
“Even laws have failed to address the issue of sexual and reproductive rights of persons with disabilities,” said Deepak Raj Sapkota, Executive Director at Karuna Foundation Nepal. “The sexual and reproductive rights of persons with disability is an issue of human rights,” he added.
The event was centered on launching a documentary discussing the sexual and reproductive rights of persons with disabilities featuring Amir Bomjan. He has actively worked in the field of art and music with the aid of the Karuna Foundation. Bomjan’s art was also displayed and auctioned at the program. Bomjan has Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita.
Bomjan spoke on the importance of prioritizing the sexual and reproductive rights of persons with disabilities, “After the 2015 Gorkha Earthquake, I came in contact with Karuna Foundation, and I’m grateful to the platform given to me by everyone at Karuna Foundation.”
The help from Karuna Foundation, according to Bomjan, has helped him prove that even disabled people have artistic abilities as well as sexual and reproductive capabilities.