By A Staff Reporter Kathmandu, Nov. 26: The country on Thursday marked the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and launched the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence (GBV) campaign, under the global theme: “Orange the World: End Violence against Women Now.”
Amid a virtual event held on Thursday, the Ministry of Women, Children and Senior Citizen launched the 16 Days of Activism against GBV along with the national slogan of “Let’s start from home, Let’s end violence against women.” Addressing the event, Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba said the government of Nepal was committed to empowering women socially, economically and politically.
“To ensure easy access to justice to the GBV survivors, the government has formed the National Women Commission, a constitutional body,” said Prime Minister Deuba. Asking provincial and local governments to work effectively to end all forms of violence against women that took place in the name of social practices, Prime Minister Deuba said the support of every individual was a must to build a civilised and egalitarian society, free from gender-based violence.
He also urged the concerned authorities including the federal, provincial and local levels to observe the campaign effectively and express their solidarity with the government’s campaign to end gender based violence, protect and promote human rights of the violence survivors. Speaking at the same event, Minister for Women, Children and Senior Citizens Uma Regmi said the national statistics of GBV painted a grim picture of the prevalence of violence against women and girls in the country.
“Effective implementation of the existing laws is a must to end all forms of gender based violence. Commitment of every individual, family, society, civil society and political parties is needed to build a nation free from gender based violence,” she added. There is a need to adopt comprehensive and inclusive approach that tackles the root causes, transforms harmful social norms and empowers women and girls to end all forms of violence against women, added Minister Regmi. Minister for Urban Development Ram Kumari Jhakri said changing people’s perception toward women could help end the prevailing discrimination and violence against women and this change begins at home.
Yam Kumari Khatiwada, Secretary of (MoWCSC), said, “The government has adopted a zero-tolerance policy to root out the tendency of gender based violence and forwarded dozens of women-centered laws to guarantee the safety and well-being of women.” The stakeholders also laid emphasis on extending all possible measures for the prevention and elimination of gender based violence to villages and remote areas as well and reach among the vulnerable group.
Earlier on Wednesday, President Bidya Devi Bhandari said effective implementation of the existing laws in the country is a must to end all forms of violence against women. In her message on the occasion of the day, President Bhandari stressed the need for launching a comprehensive awareness campaign at the family and community level against such malpractices and anomalies in society.
“The unequal power structure between men and women should be changed by making women financially independent,” President Bhandari said. The 16 days of activism is celebrated all over the world from November 25 to December 10 every year. Nepal started to mark the campaign in 2054 B.S. During the 16 days activism, individuals and governments and non-government organisations will shine a spotlight on all forms of GBV and speak out to galvanize commitment and action to realise a world where women and all persons irrespective of gender, can live violence and discrimination free life.
Despite all the efforts of the government to end gender-based violence, women and girls still continue to face violence. As many as 1,772 cases of violence against women were recorded in Nepal last fiscal year, according to a document unveiled by the Women’s Rehabilitation Centre (WOREC) today.
According to UN Women, every one in three women has been abused in their lifetimes. In times of crises, the number rises, as it is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic and recent humanitarian crisis. A new report from UN Women, based on data from 13 countries since the pandemic, shows that two in three women reported that they or a woman they know experienced some forms of violence and are more likely to face it.