GENDER VIOLENCE Much Ado Little Action

<br>RADHA POUDEL

Oct. 11, 2010, 5:45 p.m. Published in Magazine Issue: Vol.: 04 No.-09 Oct. -08-2010(Ashwin 22, 2067)

Gender-Based Violence (GBV) has become a popular development jargon in recent times. Many claim that Nepal has made a big progress in checking such violence. Gender Eqaulity Act 2006, Interim Constitution 2007 etc  are cited in attempt to prove the claim. But many at the grassroot level do not agree. They see little progress if at all.

There was a case of a woman worth mentioning to explain the frustrations of the activists at the local level. She was a victim of domestic violence. So, she decided to seek help from a women's group.  As she became aware of her rights she was kicked out of the house. Unable to even find a shelter anywhere among the relatives, she decided to file a case against the perpetrators of the wrong.  She didn't know the process and the formalities. She did not have money nor property to sustain herself.  She was  also unable to take care of her kids. Hailing from  an indigenous group she could not express her plight.  The result: her life is a mess, having been forced to live on the streets, along with the kids.

Activists also face challenges in helping such women. They get threatening phone calls , political pressure and intimidation etc, ironically, from the so-called elites  and the community leaders such as school teachers, local leaders. They also believe that GBV is a family affair is better left to the family concerned.

The year 2010 has been proclaimed  the year against Gender Based Violence (GBV) . A number of plans and programmes have been put in place to mark the year.  But they leave much to be desired. Probably, a multi-dimensional approach is what is badly needed to give the year a big momentum


 

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