Ending Violence Against Women in Nepal

Topics: Human rights, Violence, Feminism Pages: 12 (3710 words) Published: May 17, 2013
Violence against women persists in every country in the world as a pervasive violation of human rights and a major impediment to achieving gender equality. Such violence is unacceptable, whether perpetrated by the nation and its agent or by family members or strangers, in public or private sphere, in peacetime or in times of conflict. The UN General Secretary Ban Ki Moon has stated that as long as violence against women continues, we cannot claim to be making real progress towards equality, development and peace.

Worldwide, violence against women, a part of gender based violence is the leading cause of death of women between the ages of 19 and 45—more than cancer, war or accidents. In South Asia, 40 percent to 70 percent of woman and girls report experiencing some forms of physical, sexual or emotional abuse, and half of all woman face violence in the home. Violence against women is a global challenge that violates basic human rights and human security. Apart from the individual suffering, it carries high a cost for society and is a major obstacle to development. Every year million of women and girls worldwide suffer from violence or other forms of gender based violence. The violence is not confined to a specific culture, region or country, to particular groups of women within a society.

Over a century has been passed since the world wide movement for women empowerment, equality and advocacy against violence against women was launched, here in Nepal. However even in the 21st century, a girl is murdered on the mother's womb, even burnt alive for not bringing dowry and to protect the family honor and this scary scene underscores the existing reality of women in Nepal. The 2011 Demographic and Health Survey shows that one in three women aged 15 to 49 have experienced physical violence since the age of 15 and 9 percent of these women have experienced physical violence mostly from their own family members at home.

As Nepal is a patriarchal society which constitutes women as a half of the total population women are manifestly subjected to discrimination and exploitation of various forms of the violence. The violence against women as such as originates at home, and has been institutionalized as a culture. The existing law, here in Nepal does not oblige the parents to provide good care, maintenance and education of the girl child.

For instance, Clause 10 of the Chapter on Partition of Poverty in the New Code of the Country obliges that the father to take good care and maintenance of son and wife but not the same obligation to the daughter. Girl children are thus engaged in family labour from early childhood.

A survey study conducted by National Women Commission (NWC) on 2012 at 26 districts of Western Nepal discovered a higher rates of female child labour resulted out of discriminatory treatment within the family and thus are deprived of opportunity to education and development. This tendency has consequently been giving rise to discrimination of many kinds in further stages of life.

Domestic violence has been a persistent problem throughout the recorded history and is one of the primary public concerns, here in Nepal. Nepalese women and girls are vulnerable to both domestic violence and public violence. Forced and early marriage is still a pervasive phenomenon despite the legal age of marriage being 18. Harmful traditional practices such as Deukhi where a girl is being offered to God and not allowed to marry, Chhaupadi where a mensurated girl is kept in a small shed away from the main house are very common in Western Nepal. Girls are one and a half times more likely to die before the age of five than their brothers and are twice as likely to be malnourished.

According to the study of Saathi, 43 percent of the women experience sexual harassment in the workplace. Between 5,000 and 12,000 girls and women aged 10 to 20 years of age are trafficked every year, 75 percent of whom are below 18 years of age and the...
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