Violence against girls(Representative Image)
KATHMANDU: November 25 is marked globally as the day to protest against Violence Against Women. Nepal has been observing the day by organizing various programs throughout the country.
With ‘Commitment to end Gender Based Violence: Solidarity from Individual, Society and Everyone’ as slogan the campaign has started from today. This 16 day campaign will last till December. The campaign has been going on since 1997.
The Ministry for Women, Children and Senior Citizens has informed that campaign will go on for 16 days with many impacts making programs attaché to it.
Roshani Devi Karki, the under-secretary of MWCSC informed Khabarhub that the campaign will be initiated virtually; it will be made more effective through wider participation and better commitments.
“We have dispatched the plans and programs to all three levels of government and have also coordinated with various agencies,” Karki spoke to Khabarhub, “creative, innovative and inspiring messages will be broadcasted widely; however, as precaution against the coronavirus pandemic all programs will be held virtually this time.”
16 day program
She added that all levels of government: federal, province and local levels are written to observe the campaign against the gender based violence and violence against women by abiding the health safety guidelines. “ We have asked all levels of government and NGOs and INGOs also to observe take part in the campaign by organizing various innovative, creative, inspiring and awareness generating programs throughout the period.
Previous experience tells that the program used to reach only in three levels by the time the 16 days campaign came to an end, so the social activists are skeptic about the effectiveness of the virtual program this time.
Karki says that virtual method is the only way forward for the moment now.
“Due to COVID-19, we do not have other options but for the virtual ones,” Karki told Khabarhub, “yet, we are planning to organize it through schools, colleges, and other organizations maintaining social distance as well.”
Besides, various federations, district coordination committees, local levels and the Ministry for Social Development of all seven provinces will ensure active participation in the virtual program.
The MWCSC is optimistic about the effectiveness of the program.
In the meantime, the government is planning to organize various programs related to dignified mensuration arrangement at national level on December 8 .
VAW cases scaling high every year
The government has been organizing various campaigns like this every year, yet the instances of violence against women are far from declining. Rather they are increasing every year.
Police Headquarters’ record shows that eighteen thousand to twenty thousand cases take place every year.
Last year there had been more than fifteen thousand cases of VAW in the country.
According to SSP Kuber Kadayat, the spokesperson of Nepal Police, the police has got the report that 1900 cases of VAW have already taken place in the first three months of this fiscal year.
Among these cases, the cases of domestic violence have got the alarming record. There have been 1,342 cases of domestic violence in first three months of this year.
Most of these cases are related to rape, attempt to rape, dowry, child marriage, polygamy, un-touchability, witchery, illegal abortion, child sexual abuse, unnatural sexual intercourse etc.
The victims say that the government plans and programs to end gender based violence have not gone to the field for implementation, hence it does not have any impactful messages.
It’s changing positively: Women Right activists
Women Rights activists say that the patriarchal structure of the family and society and patriarchal perspective have delayed the change but the change inevitable.
Woman right activist Kala Rai regards the discriminatory beliefs and the patriarchal social structure responsible for the delay in the decline of the violence against women.
Yet, she is optimistic that the wrong beliefs and traditions in practices for ages are losing the grounds and the campaigns the one launched now can act pivotal in reducing their number.
“We have seen many changes taking place of late. Our time is better than our mothers and their was better than their mother’s this shows the change is there,” Rai told Khabarhub, “If we keep on working optimistically, we can end such violence soon.”
She believes that the campaigns like this has filled guts in the women and have made them realize they should raise their voice.
“The campaign has not only made the women conscious about various forms of violence, it has made them realize that they should raise the voice and protest against the violence,” women right activist Rai added, “ they have understood, they are not alone and their voice will be heard if they spoke it out.”