Nepal is a country which ranks 127th on the Human Development Index. It is also a country in which 42 percent of the population is living below the poverty line and where the unemployment rate is 15.4 percent. Nepal is known by bio-and socio-cultural diversity. The socio-cultural diversity has been manifested in terms of racial/caste-ethnic, linguistic, religious cultural, gender and regional diversities. Discrimination based on caste, race, ethnicity, gender and geographical region is prevalent and has compromised the rights of many groups, particularly rurally-based, so-called low caste communities. The so-called Dalit community is one group that has been particularly marginalized from mainstream development, consequently experiencing even greater levels of poverty and discrimination.
Gender is also a very significant aspect in the Nepalese society and it has been dominated by patriarchy supported by Hindu religion and culture. The egalitarian social structure of many indigenous nationalities has been affected by caste hierarchy and the concept of purity and pollution due to the intensive process of Hinduization and Sanskritization (or internal colonization). In this context, community development requires a multi-faceted approach that empowers individuals and groups, particularly marginalized communities, to work towards social justice within their own communities, for the continued development and growth of the nation as a whole
In Nepal, violence against women is one of the major factors responsible for poor health of women, livelihood insecurity, and inadequate social mobilization. With an aim of restoring social justice and peace through the elimination of gender-based or caste-based discrimination and violence at the grassroots level, WOREC has facilitated the formation of community mediation committees (CMC) in the targeted wards, VDCs/municipalities,, and started mobilizing local community groups, locally elected governmental bodies, and local intellectuals for that purpose.
WOREC is involved in the implementation and strengthening of community mediation activities.
Each ward-level mediation committee consists of 7 members: 4 female and 3 male. The composition of the ward-level mediation committee is as follows:
Each mediation committee conducts a monthly meeting on a regular basis. The hearing of registered cases of the disputes takes place as per need.
WOREC’s Marginalized Communities Program was implemented in Siraha and Udayapur districts in 2003 and is mainly focused on the existing untouchability practices between Dalit and non-Dalit people of the community. It focuses on rational utilization of local human and natural resources, and of traditional knowledge and experience. It hopes to change the existing discriminatory socio-cultural norms and values that are responsible for the subordination of women and marginalized ethnic minorities. In this way, WOREC continues to work for the establishment of equitable social justice, peace and an economically sound society, with basic human right guaranteed by the state. This program also focuses on people's citizenship and/or legal registration rights, health and education rights, and the right to economic resources for livelihood
The Marginalized Communities Program is not a separate WOREC program, but rather aims to implement existing programs and activities with groups who have been typically marginalized from development efforts.