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16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence set to begin on Nov 25

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Despite political commitment and a supportive legal and policy framework, violence against women remains a significant problem in Nepal.

Kathmandu, November 23, 2017: Every year, November 25 is observed as International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. This observance raises awareness of the continuing toll of gender-based violence.

A global campaign – the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence, is set to run from November 25 until 10 December, Human Rights Day. The campaign seeks to spotlight the actions being taken to end this global scourge.

Violence against women and girls is one of the most prevalent human rights violations in the world. Globally, it is estimated that one in three women will experience physical or sexual abuse in her lifetime.

In Nepal, the government, various UN agencies, development partners and stakeholders are observing the 16 Days by raising the voices of people all over the world working to end gender-based violence and gender inequality.

Despite political commitment and a supportive legal and policy framework, violence against women remains a significant problem in Nepal. According to the 2016 Nepal Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS), more than 1 in 5 women (22 percent) have ever experienced physical violence since age 15. It has been found that, more than 9 percent of women experienced physical violence in the past year alone. The most common perpetrator of physical violence among ever-married women is a current husband (84 percent).

Seven percent of women have ever experienced sexual violence; 3 percent have experienced sexual violence in the past year. Divorced/separated/widowed women are most at risk (20 percent), compared to never-married women (2 percent). The most common perpetrator of sexual violence among ever-married women is a current husband (80 percent).

The NDHS also says more than 1 in 5 women (22 percent) who have experienced physical or sexual violence sought help to stop the violence. Yet, two-thirds of women never sought help nor told anyone. The most common sources of help for women who have experienced physical or sexual violence are their own family (65 percent) and neighbors (31 percent).

Trafficking of girls for sex work is a particular problem. Other specific forms of violence include dowry-related violence, child marriage, female infanticide, witchcraft accusations, widow abuse, polygamy Chhaupadi, Badi, Deuki, Jhuma, and Kamlari. Most women who experience violence do not seek help.

Let’s play a role from our side to minimize the violence of any kind against girls and women.