Kathmandu,22 Feb 2015: Sexual Harassment at Workplace (Elimination) Act- 2071 BS has failed to include women working in the entertainment sector like dance bar and restaurants, women associated with the respective field complained.
The Bishwas Nepal and Act Organisation jointly organised an interaction programme here Sunday which was participated in by women working in dance bars, night clubs, restaurants and massage centers.
The government recently announced the enforcement of the Act aimed at combating workplace sexual harassment against women.
It is a bitter reality that dance bars, restaurants and massage centers where many women are working in are not legally registered and the victims do not find a ground to pursue legal fight against the perpetrators, the participants of the programme said.
They shared about bitter experiences of various types of violence including sexual harassment they are facing at workplace.
As shared by the participants, they are never paid on time and the promised remuneration, are forced to accompany guests to fulfill their sexual desires against their will, are not allowed to leave the workplace for a single minute and are even barred from seeking new employment opportunity and joining new workplace. Owners of the place where they are working do not let them go to work in new place and if they dared do so, the same owners bring them back forcefully.
Presenting a working paper on the matter, Alliance against Trafficking in Women and Children in Nepal(AATWIN)’s Benumaya Gurung said the situation facing dance bar, restaurant and massage center working women is a type of women trafficking. Forced movement of people from one place to another is defined as the human trafficking by the United Nations, she said.
Rights activist Hira Dahal demanded stern action against the dance bars and restaurants operating without registration and those not renewing the registration.
As per available data, there are around 12,000 dance bars, nightclubs and massage centers in the Kathmandu Valley alone and around 500,000 people are working there. Of them, the number of women and children makes up 40 per cent. They are paid minimum Rs 3,500 to Rs 10,000 monthly.