WOREC Nepal

Solidarity to end sexual violence in Nepal

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Women's human rights defenders gathered today( May 15) in Kathmandu to join forces and manifest against sexual violence and for sexual rights for women in Nepal.  The mass rally started at 9.30 am in Bhrikuti Mandap and thousands of citizens participated, between independent activists and organized movements.  The rally was led by the National Alliance of Women Human Rights Defenders (NAWHRD) and the National Campaign Against Rape (which is supported by more than thirty human rights organizations) with the objective of raising awareness of the matter and getting the attention and support of both the community and the government. Ms. Bimala Lama, Board member of NAWHRD, informed that it was a peaceful rally, without transit interruption or road blocking, because of the successful conversations between the WHRDs and the Minister of Law, Justice and Peace, Mr. Narhari Acharya, that happened after the eight day sit-in that took place from April 29th to May 6th.   

After marching from Bhrikuti Mandap to Bhadrakali, the activists gathered to listen to speakers from the associations that were taking part of the event.
Mr. Gauri Pradhan, recognized human right activist, stated that supporting the National Anti Rape Campaign is a responsibility of everyone, since it's not a women's issue but a society problem.  Every home has women, they are our mothers, sisters and daughters, therefore fighting against rape should matter to all of us.  According to the leading newspapers of the country and the police reports, sexual violence and rape have been increasing daily.  These heinous crimes shouldn’t be fought only by women, men should be part of the struggle as well.  He urged citizens, human rights defenders and politicians to join in the National Anti Rape Campaign.
 He also affirmed that the law regarding rape and sexual violence in Nepal has many loopholes and the legal system is extremely frustrating for the survivors: the investigation procedures are long and ineffective and there's a lot of political interference.  The demands of the Anti Rape campaign are genuine and must be put into practice to ensure justice for the victims.
The Student Union leader, Mr.Thomas Bastola, manifested his support on behalf of the student organizations to the fight against sexual violence and the commitment of the women human rights activists.  
Mr. Sneh Saymi, in representation of civil society, showed his solidarity with the women human rights defenders and read a poem defending women human rights and the importance of access to justice for all sexual violence survivors.  
Closing the event, Dr Renu Rajbhandari , chairperson of the NAWHRD, thanked women's human rights activists, citizens, the numerous media staff and everyone who took part of the rally for participating.  She said the National Campaign Against Rape has been working for a long time and has raised the attention of many government stakeholders, political parties, youth and women political movements.  The legitimacy of the demands has been recognized but, even so, no action has been taken to change the rape law.  That is why sit-in protests will start to take place from tomorrow on, until demands on law changing are met.

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