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Violence Against Women

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The growing problem of violence against women, and persecution of women human rights defenders and victims of human rights violations remains pervasive throughout the world. Many of our members live in politically challenged environments, putting them at risk and are experiencing restrictions on freedom of movement, arbitrary detention, threats to their lives, intimidation and harassment for speaking out against violations of  women and women’s human rights.

Violence against women is any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or mental harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life. There are many forms of violence against women, including sexual, physical, or emotional abuse by an intimate partner; physical or sexual abuse by family members or others; sexual harassment and abuse by authority figures (such as teachers, police officers or employers); trafficking for forced labor or sex; and such traditional practices as forced or child marriages, dowry-related violence; and honor killings, when women are murdered in the name of family honor. Systematic sexual abuse in conflict situations is another form of violence against women. Therefore, violence against women is a violation of women’s rights. It is increasing at an alarming rate. There are several reports on incidences of violence against women including suicide and the murder and different cases of violence remain unnoticed. These violence cases are unheard. There is no social support mechanism for the survivors from the government.  As a result, the situation forces women to live under abusive situation, face physical violence, get murdered or finally commit suicide. The roots of VAW lie in persistent discrimination against women. In Nepali society, semi-feudal and patriarchal structure, superstitions and illiteracy among women, as well as poverty and marginalization of women are the factors accelerating the cases of VAW at large. At the same time, impunity in the state and weak enforcement of law are also responsible for VAW.
VAW campaign of WOREC Nepal is a vibrant campaign. Various programs are being carried out under this campaign. These programs are conducted to address numerous multi-faceted issues responsible for VAW in Nepal. WOREC Nepal’s experience of working at local and national levels has revealed that only a multi-pronged approach, which addresses the numerous and complex causes of women trafficking and all other forms of VAW, is effective in eliminating the unequal power relations and achieving human rights for all Nepali girls, women and marginalized groups. Accordingly to the data collected by WOREC Nepal, out of the total 1473 cases from January to December 2012, domestic violence accounted for a total of 768 cases. This means that domestic violence is the biggest category of VAW, followed by rape cases (215), social violence (179) which includes blaming as witch (55), mental torture (19), beating/physical torture (78), child marriage (9), question on chastity (2), threats to kill (6) and verbal assault (10). Accordingly murder 153, attempted murder 26, sexual abuse 64, suicide 8, trafficking 38 and attempt to trafficking 13 were reported. However, it has to be kept in mind that such figures may not be the whole picture as most of the time VAW cases are seldom reported.
WOREC Nepal has been accomplishing activities to break the silence relating to violence and to ensure justice to the survivors of GBV by providing security and other supports. WOREC Nepal also provides the environment to survivors to lead their lives with dignity and human rights by building their capacity and advocating for and creating the environment for it.

WOREC Nepal's commitments
    Provide support to women survivors of violence.
    Develop capacity of women human rights defenders (WHRDs) active at community level to document cases of VAW and advocate for proper redress to survivors of violence.
    Advocate for creation of support mechanism for the survivors of GBV.
    Increase the access of women suffering from violence to legal aid, counseling and other support mechanism.
    Strengthen women’s role as decision-makers and leaders.
Major achievements
    Capacity of WHRD to document cases of VAW has been strengthened. The documented cases were used for the compilation of  “Anbeshi 2012”, Annual Analytical Report on VAW.
•    As a result of regular lobby and pressure during 100 days VAW campaign, Prime Minister of Nepal Dr. Babu Ram Bhattarai expressed his commitment to establish a mechanism to address violence against women within  24 hours.
•    Documented cases of various forms of violence such as, rape, torture, murder, witchcraft blaming were immediately reported to concerned authorities.
•    The women human rights defenders (WHRDs) and human rights network (HRN) are involved in the fact finding of the cases and have facilitated in highlighting the case studies.
•    The provisions of various supportive mechanisms (network development, coordination, community-based safe shelter, emergency fund & support, referral system) at local level have promoted self-confidence of women activists working in the community. Final Draft of referral protocol on health services to survivors/victims of VAW has been developed and submitted to the ministry of health for its endorsement. The data of GBV cases were regularly shared and followed up for the national database system (GBVIMS). Due to continuous lobby, advocacy, training and different interaction and coordination meeting with Nepal Police, office of Prime Minister, the Nepal Police has developed a Gender Policy. Due to the continuous lobbying, advocacy and sensitization program, the youth have joined force in VAW campaign more actively.

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