16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence

November 25, 2017 - December 10, 2017

Global

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

The UN observes International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on 25 November. This observance raises awareness of the continuing toll of gender-based violence.

A global campaign – the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence – runs from today until 10 December, Human Rights Day. This campaign spotlights 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, UNFPA, other 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. In the past year, 9 percent of women have experienced physical violence. 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.

UNFPA Nepal is working with the government, development partners, civil society, young people and other stakeholders to advance gender equality and reproductive rights, particularly through:

  • Strengthening national and subnational health-system capacity to respond to gender-based violence within a coordinated multi-sectoral response ;
  • Enhancing capacity of men and women to prevent gender-based violence and support women seeking multi-sectoral services on gender-based violence; and
  • Engaging communities in preventing child marriage and other harmful practices.