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VAW on rise, seven rape cases reported daily in Nepal



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By Deepa Chaudhary, Kathmandu, Apr. 7: According to the data revealed by Nepal Police, cases of violence against women (VAW) in the country have increased significantly in the last decade.

A total of 17,790 women and girls were raped in the last ten years and it has been found that the cases of rape have been increasing every year by 20 per cent.

According to Nepal Police, 144 cases of rape and 687 cases of attempt to rape were registered in the last fiscal year. Likewise, 1,221 women and girls were raped from March 2020 to August 2020.

The data shows that on average, seven women or girls are raped daily in Nepal.

Moreover, a VAW study report published by Informal Sector Service Center (INSEC) has mentioned that the VAW cases had increased this year. According to the report, around seven hundred cases relating to rape were recorded in 2018. The number doubled in the year 2020 as over 1,400 cases of sexual offense were confirmed.

Similarly, according to WOREC Nepal, last year 143 rapes and 18 attempts to rape were registered while 178 rape cases and 40 attempts to rape were reported in the first five months of the ongoing year.

All these reports portray the scary picture of violation of women's rights. The stakeholders and activists have been voicing that physical, mental, and sexual torture and gender-based discrimination, inequality, and injustice were the reason behind the increase in VAW cases.

Dr. Renu Adhikari, a women's rights activist, said, "Various legislation has also failed in equalising women's status in society."

She added that lack of participation of women representatives in framing plans and policies against the patriarchal mindset, superstition, discriminatory laws, gender inequality, the economic dependence of women on men, illiteracy, and poor economic status were the major reasons behind surging VAW cases.

"As domestic and sexual violence prevails significantly in our country, the lockdown made the situation even worse," said psychologist Kanchan Raut, "Various hotlines are in operation in Nepal to prevent any kind of violence and injustice against women."