Sexing the State: Negotiating Sexual Politics in Naya Nepal
The three papers in this panel discuss sexual politics in Nepal at three levels of analysis; the state, the social and the individual. The first paper by Kumud Rana, interrogates state-centered activism through a case-study of the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) movement in Nepal. The paper shows how this movement is shaped not only by national processes but also through opportunities and constraints in relation to Nepal’s geopolitical position, and its embeddedness in transnational solidarity networks. The second paper by Sarah Rich-Zendel looks at sexual politics through the lens of social institutions: media, health and education. By decentering the state, her paper shows how these institutions play a critical role in supporting, contesting, and subverting sexual rights. The final paper by Shubha Kayastha looks at sexual politics through the individual experiences of women with physical disabilities in Nepal. This paper provides intimate insight into this often invisible and marginalized group of people within the sexual rights discourse through an analysis of their lived sexual experiences. Together, these three papers analyse the varied landscapes of sexual politics in Nepal and how sexual rights debates play out in this period of intense political transformation.