News

“Making the invisible visible” on International Women’s Day

10 March 2014

On the occasion of International Women's Day, UNFP, UNICEF and UN Women jointly organized a week-long awareness raising campaign in Nepal requesting people from all walks of life to join hands and speak out to end violence against women and children and "making the invisible visible".

On the occasion of this year's International Women's Day, UNFPA, UNICEF and UN Women jointly organized a week-long awareness raising campaign in Nepal requesting people from all walks of life to join hands and speak out to end violence against women and children and "making the invisible visible". The campaign culminated in a ‘Women in Concert' on March 8 on Lainchour Ground in Kathmandu. The musical event featured over two dozen of Nepal's most renowned female singers who reinforced the message to end violence against children and women through their greatest hits.

Before the concert, the artists and representatives of the three UN agencies took part in school and college outreach activities and TV/radio talk programmes to disseminate messages on violence against women and children. They visited more than 20 schools and colleges during the campaign period, wherein a large number of students sounded very enthusiastic about key issues surrounding violence against women and children.

Singers like Ani Choying Dorlma, Kunti Moktan, Abhaya Subba, Nalina Chitrakar, Shreya Shotang, Mausami Gurung, Reema Hoda, and Nattu Shah were part of the concert. More than 3,000 people, mainly young ones, turned up at the venue and pledged to do their bit to prevent violence against women and children.

In Nepal, women and children suffer from widespread and multiple forms of violence. It takes place in the home, on the streets, in schools, the workplace, during conflict and even in times of peace. It manifests itself in its most prevalent forms of domestic and sexual violence. Violence also occurs in the form of child marriage, chaaupadi (a tradition that disallows menstruating women to enter houses), and discriminatory practices like son preference or denying girls access to formal education, forced labor and trafficking.

"Violence against women has been called ‘the most pervasive yet least recognized human rights abuse in the world'. It jeopardizes women's lives, bodies, psychological integrity and freedom," said Ms. Giulia Vallese, UNFPA Nepal Representative. "Violence may have profound effects - direct and indirect - on a woman's reproductive health, including unwanted pregnancies and restricted access to family planning information and contraceptives; unsafe abortion or injuries sustained during a legal abortion after an unwanted pregnancy; complications from frequent, high-risk pregnancies and lack of follow-up care; sexually transmitted infections, including HIV; persistent gynecological problems and; psychological problems."

Several government studies show that violence against women is hidden and deeply-rooted. The National Demographic Health Survey 2011 reported that 1 in 5 women experience physical violence in her lifetime and 1 in 10 sexual violence.

Besides this event, UNFPA Nepal in partnership with government agencies and other stakeholders celebrated the day by organising several activities in different parts of Nepal.