Kathmandu, July 20.
Even the kings in our country don't get justice, normal people do not have any expectations.
Nepal is a highly patriarchal society and on almost every measure, women are worse off than men. Women have restricted access to education and employment and experience startlingly high rates of domestic violence Gender equality is essential for the achievement of human rights for all. Yet discriminatory laws against women persist in every corner of the globe and new discriminatory laws are enacted. Statistics showed that women faced different types of injuries compared to men, especially on workplace violence. For example, women faced more fatality from workplace violence, and murders by personal acquaintances than men. Women in Nepal face many challenges due to issues of inequality and injustice in the society. Gender discrimination and gender-based violence are just some of the serious and widespread problems for women. Nepali women are not treated equally, not just in practice, but under law as well. The law regarding nationality, for example, discriminates against women, making some of them “second-class” citizens in society.
The challenges on both the local and national levels can seem impossible and sometimes those working to defend women’s rights come under attack. A recent case in Kanchanpur district, 18 years old girl was at quarantine, she was physically attacked or raped by the mass of the male people. This is the country where Our King didn’t get laws how it is possible to normal people .
Laws have changed women’s rights with regard to abortion, divorce, child custody and support, rape, jury service, appointments as administrators and executors of estates, sentencing for crimes, and admission to places of public accommodations, such as clubs, restaurants, and bars. Existing laws are inadequate to deal with sexual offenses and Nepal has no law to deal with sexual harassment. This is also the reason why, Nepalese women are frequently subjected to a regime of rape and domestic abuse, and young women risk being trafficked to the brothels of India. Also, there are many superstitions and taboos related to caste and mensuration leading to discrimination of women. In these cases, they are not allowed to touch drinking water, have to live away from the house secluded while menstruating, cannot perform/attend religious activities
In Nepal, the custom of dowry is still common, and dowry-related violence remains a problem, even though the dowry system has been banned in Nepal. Despite the laws, incidents of domestic violence related to dowry continue, under a general perception of impunity. Likely the problem of Chaupadi is still same. Many NGO/INGOs has destroy the Chaupadi Goth, but the problem remain same in case of the NGO/INGOs leaders home.
In the cases, even women do not respect other women. I believe that unless a woman respects other women, overall progress is not possible.
How did you get involved in human rights work, specifically working on women’s rights issues?
As I am a woman, interested in the rights of women. I cannot see the any women in any kinds of trouble that is why I am involved in women’s rights issues. I have started my journey from the post of social mobilizer at Integrated Development Society (IDeS) Dadeldhura who works about the violence and issues of womens. I used to be the District Women’s Chairperson of a Mother groups, Cooperative organizations, political party also, and heard many cases of violence against women. I used to visit the district human rights offices, police office to help women, and it began to attract my interest more. My husband, friends, and brothers also gave me opportunities to work on women’s rights.
What are the challenges that you faces to get this status?
There are many challenges while working as a woman human rights defender. We raise issues and develop different plans and policies for further advocacy. Sometimes women’s issues are not being heard in local and national level too. In other cases, even women do not respect other women. It creates challenge and keeps other women from progressing. Likely, the Case of Nirmala Panta of Kanchanpur district still not get justice, other cases like as Chaupadhi, early child marriage, women violence’s etc are remain same. I feel unsuccessful in that type of cases. So, I don’t want to remember more.
Despite the challenges, what do you enjoy most about your work?
In our work as leaders, sometimes we receive appreciation, and sometimes we receive challenges. However, we shouldn’t mind it. We are the ones who fix household problems. We come across different issues and cases. We also come across cases between husbands and wives. We must work to settle their issues and protect their households. We must be careful so that they can live peacefully. We might be scolded by the husband claiming that we are trying to destroy their family, and the wife might also think the same. Our role should be to help them resolve their problem.
The problem is lack of implementation. Even if cases are filed, it takes many years to reach a conclusion and perpetrators are not always held accountable.
What are the main women’s rights issues in Nepal?
Nepal’s constitutional provisions include equal rights for all. Nevertheless, women cannot access the same positions in local government as men. The practice of child marriage, polygamous marriage and dowry is widespread. We are finding it difficult to end such practices. They may end in some years, but we cannot guarantee it yet. Women are being accused of being witches. Why only women, and not men? These are some of the issues in question, and we must continue working.
Do the existing policies able to address the women issues?
The government has tried to address these issues but are not implemented. The major achievement of the Constitution of Nepal, 2072, has the provision of 33% women participation must in any organization and the same thing is stated in the Article 84 (8) of the constitution stipulates that if a political party cannot ensure 33 percent women winners from first-past-the-post parliamentary election and the Upper House election, then it must select its proportional representation candidates in such a way so as to ensure 33 percent of its winning candidates are women. The variations of social opportunities are quite varied in its range. The gender bias and gender base violence are still prevalent. There are so many boundaries of women which makes the women’s backward. Women are bound to face many challenges during the tenure of life.
What are the factor that is to be address to provide or get good opportunity than current situation?
There is a practice of expecting the central level of government to do something. Local and district level activities are hardly promoted. It does not mean that nothing has been done at local levels. However, the main problem is it does not go from the local to the central level, but rather exactly the opposite. Then the issue gets diluted.
Also, when women are in trouble, there are no safe houses at the district levels. We have to send women in trouble to Kathmandu for safekeeping. It becomes very expensive for us to manage. If there is at least one safe house in the district level, women will be better protected. Everyone should understand this.
It is true that roles and status of women in modern Nepalese society has undergone a massive transformation and their rights have been secured by the constitution, enforcement outside the few major cities has been a lax. Given that fact that The rugged, mountainous topography adds to this issue. In these remote places, gender disparity still exists, women's have limited control or saying, women are restricted to household works, deprived of education, discriminated based on caste, and have poor healthcare access.