President Bidhya Devi Bhandari said Nepal women are still forced to face violence, due to discriminatory social norms despite prohibited by the constitution.
In her message to 16 Days of activism against gender based violence, President Bhandari has stressed the need to implement all the provisions. “It is important to create awareness about violence against women and create opportunities to make women independent,” said says President Bidhya Devi Bhandari.
All seven Provincial Assembly Buildings of Nepal lit up in orange today to mark the celebration of International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and beginning of 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence.
The Provincial Governments of Nepal along with the United Nations Country Team of Nepal and the Gender Equality and Social Inclusion Working Group of the International Development Partners’ Group joined hands to the global movement by “oranging” the Parliament building in line with the official colour of the UNiTE campaign that symbolises hope and a violence-free country.
“Today we stand in solidarity with all those who, because of their gender, have faced or feared violence. Let us celebrate the voices and tireless work of survivors and activists. Violence against women and girls remains one of the most prevalent human rights violations in the world,” said Valerie Julliand, Resident Coordinator of UN Country Team in Nepal. “We must work to change what holds women and girls back from reaching the full potential and build a world free of violence and discrimination. Nepal has made impressive strides in putting in place laws for preventing and responding to gender-based violence. Now it is time to put words into action.” She added.
This year’s United Nations theme for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (25 November), “Orange the World: #HearMeToo aims to support women and girls who are coming together in a nation-wide movement of solidarity against the historic power imbalances in which sexual harassment and other forms of violence are deeply rooted.
An interaction program with Provincial Assembly members were also organised in all seven provinces before the event. During the interaction program, the members discussed the current situation of gender-based violence in Nepal, its causes and consequences and the role of the Parliamentarians to prevent gender-based violence.
Speaking during the event in Pokhara, Headquarter of Province 4, Zane Petre, Deputy Head of Delegation, European Commission said, “Ending violence against women and girls’ is on top of European Union’s global agenda, and we have joined hands with the United Nations to mobilize all efforts and actions in education, awareness raising, prevention and delivering justice, to end gender-based violence.” The interaction sessions and Oranging events in Nepal is supported by European Commission and Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SDC.
The events brought together the government, the civil society, the United Nations and the International Development Partners to bring the issue of gender-based violence to the forefront.
According to a press release issued by UN,the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an international campaign which takes place each year. It commences on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to 10 December, Human Rights Day. It was originated by activists at the first Women's Global Leadership Institute in 1991 and is coordinated each year by the Centre for Women's Global Leadership. It is used as an organizing strategy by individuals and organizations around the world to call for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls.
In support of this civil society initiative, under the leadership of the UN Secretary General, António Guterres, the United Nations Secretary-General’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women Campaign (UNiTE) calls for global action to increase awareness, galvanise advocacy efforts and share knowledge and innovations.
In recent years, the UNiTE campaign has utilized the colour orange to represent a brighter future, free from violence against women and girls, as a unifying theme running through its global activities. In Nepal, the UN Country Team (UNCT) has marked the campaign during the past years, including ‘oranging’ of Patan Durbar Square (2016) and Lumbini (2017).