February 5, 2023, Sunday
Nepal 1:37:26 pm

Activism against gender-based violence in Nepal

The Nepal Weekly
November 29, 2022

The UN observes International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on 25 November. This observance raises awareness of the continuing toll of gender-based violence.

Violence against women and girls is one of the most prevalent human rights violations in the world. Globally, it is estimated that one in three women will experience physical or sexual abuse in her lifetime. The United Nations Secretary-General’s UNiTE by 2030 to End Violence against Women campaign (UNiTE campaign) calls for global actions to increase awareness, galvanize advocacy efforts, and share knowledge and innovations. In 2019, the UNiTE campaign will mark the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, from 25 November to 10 December, under the theme, “Orange the World: Generation Equality Stands against Rape!”

In Nepal, the governments in the federal, provincial and local levels, UN agencies including UNFPA, development partners and local stakeholders observe the 16 Days by raising the voices of people to end gender-based violence and gender inequality.

Despite political commitment and a supportive legal and policy framework, violence against women remains a significant problem in Nepal. The 2016 Nepal Demographic Health Survey (NDHS) reveals that 22 per cent of women aged 15-49 have experienced physical violence since the age of 15, and 7 percent have experienced sexual violence. Among ever-married women, 26 percent have experienced spousal physical, sexual or emotional violence, with 34 percent of survivors having sustained injuries. The report also shows that 66 percent of women who have experienced any type of physical or sexual violence have not sought any help or talked to anyone about resisting or stopping the violence they experience.

Trafficking of girls for sex work is a particular problem. Other specific forms of violence include dowry-related violence, child marriage, female infanticide, witchcraft accusations, widow abuse, polygamy Chhaupadi, Badi, Deuki, Jhuma, and Kamlari. Most women who experience violence do not seek help.

UNFPA Nepal is working with the federal, provincial and local governments, parliamentarians, development partners, civil society, young people and other stakeholders to advance gender equality and reproductive rights, particularly through strengthening national and subnational health-system capacity to respond to gender-based violence within a coordinated multi-sectoral response, enhancing capacity of men and women to prevent gender-based violence and supporting women to seek multi-sectoral services on gender-based violence, and engaging communities in preventing harmful practices, including child marriage.

Zonta Club of Kathmandu Walkathon Against Gender-based Violence

The Zonta Club of Kathmandu today organized a walkathon to promote activism to end violence against women and girls. The walkathon started from Durbar Marg with more than 500 participants walking towards Basantapur Durbar Square, and concluded with a street play with powerful messages against gender-based violence.

The walkathon coincided with the United Nations’ 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence from 25 November-10 December 2021. This year, the UN marks the 16 Days under the theme “UNiTE! Activism to end violence against women and girls”.

Zonta has produced four short films that are being played at QFX cinemas over the 16-day campaign period. “These short films deliver the vital message that violence/harassment and child marriages are never okay – not one time, NOT EVER and one must speak up,” saidVidushiRana, chair of 16-days campaign on violence against women of Zonta Club of Kathmandu. “The videos, we hope, will encourage victims to seek help and let them know of the helpline options where they can safely call and speak up.”

As part of the initiative, Zonta will also stage a series of street plays and organize discussions in schools and public places in Kathmandu and surrounding areas.  In the lead up to the walkathon, Zonta also rallied influencers to advocate against gender-based violence and create awareness on the importance of speaking up. These clips are being widely circulated in the social media.

The walkathon was organized with support from Kumari Bank, JGI Foundation, Laxmi Bank, KTM City, LiBird, Welt Hunger Hilfe, German Cooperation, and Aqua Hundred.

Zonta International is a leading global organization of professionals, empowering women worldwide through service and advocacy.  

Under the umbrella of Zonta International, the Zonta Club Kathmandu was established in 2012. It is a registered NGO in Kathmandu and has been working on the advancement of the status of women with the objective to improve the economy, education, health, and issues related to youth and violence against women at the local and national levels through service and advocacy.