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'Women in Concert' to mark Int'l Women's Day

Violence against women, children and adolescents occurs everywhere - at home, families, schools, workplace, communities and public places. Just because you can't see violence, it doesn't mean it isn't there. We must make the invisible, visible.

JOINT PRESS RELEASE

KATHMANDU, 7 March 2014 - Violence against women, children and adolescents occurs everywhere - at home, families, schools, workplace, communities and public places. Just because you can't see violence, it doesn't mean it isn't there. We must make the invisible, visible. 
This is the underlying message as UNICEF, UN Women, UNFPA and Nirbhaya Foundation jointly present "Women in Concert" on the occasion of International Women's Day on March 8. 
The free musical event at Lainchour Ground urges everyone to join together and speak out more forcefully to fight violence against women and children. 
The concert is also part of the ongoing focus of the UN agencies on the elimination of violence against women, children and adolescents. A weeklong initiative to increase public awareness about the issue preceded the concert. 
More than 20 established and aspiring female artists, including Ani Chhoying Dolma, Abhaya Subba, Kunti Moktan, Nalina Chitrakar, Samriddhi Rai, Ciney Gurung, Nattu Shah and many more, will be performing at the event with key messages regarding violence against women, children and adolescents. 
"Violence destroys lives - in every country and at all levels of society. It cuts across boundaries of age, race, sexuality, educational background and socio-economic status," said Ms. Hanaa Singer, UNICEF Representative. "Too often, however, it is an invisible problem because people turn a blind eye to it, or simply fail to report due to fear or stigma." 
Since much violence is hidden from public view - and because it is too often tolerated - the numbers do not reflect the true magnitude of the problem. The need to take urgent collective action is underlined by the limited statistics available, which point to the scale and extent of violence. For example, in Nepal, around 16 lakh children1 are working as child labourers while 5000 children2 live on the streets. Similarly, 11,500 women and children3 were trafficked or were attempted to be trafficked in the year 2011. 
"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 gynaecological problems and; psychological problems." 
In Nepal, studies show that as many as one in every five women experience physical violence and one in 10 sexual violence. Nearly 1 in 10 adolescents4 aged 15-19 experience physical violence during pregnancy. Most often the violence is perpetrated by someone she knows, including by her husband or another male family member. 
Men and boys have a crucial role to play as husbands, fathers, brothers, friends, decision makers, and community and opinion leaders, in speaking out against violence against women, children and adolescents and ensuring that priority attention is given to the issue. Importantly, men can provide positive role models for young men and boys, based on healthy images of masculinity. 
In a recent 2013 survey of Asia and the Pacific, half of the men and boys who admitted to rape reported their first time was as a teenager.1 This is a deeply disturbing reality. 
"Discrimination and violence against women and girls has no place in the 21st century. It is time for Governments to keep their promises and protect human rights in line with the international agreements that they signed onto," said Mr. Ziad Sheikh, UN Women Representative. "A promise is a promise. There can be no peace, no progress as long as women live under the fear of violence." 
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About UNICEF: UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything it does. Together with their partners, they work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: www.unicef.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

About UNFPA: UNFPA (United Nations Population Fund) works to deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every birth is safe and every young person's potential is fulfilled. UNFPA is on the ground improving lives in about 150 countries-home to 80 per cent of world's population-and expanding the possibilities for women and young people to lead healthy sexual and reproductive lives. For more information visit www.unfpa.org.

About UN Women: UN Women (United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women) is the UN organisation dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. A global champion for women and girls, UN Women was established to accelerate progress on meeting their needs worldwide.

About Nirbhaya Foundation: ‘Nirbhaya Manch or Nirbhaya Foundation' is a non-profitable, non-government organization with an objective of raising awareness, sensitizing, advocating on women rights issues, violence against women and children, child labour, women empowerment, human trafficking and slavery.

For further information, please contact: 
John Brittain, Chief of Communication, UNICEF Nepal. Tel 98510 54139 Email: jbrittain@unicef.org 
Sharmina Manandhar, Communication Officer, UNICEF Nepal. Tel 9843176153 Email: smanandhar@unicef.org 
Santosh Chhetri, Advocacy and Communications Officer, UNFPA Nepal. Tel 5523880/9801056028 Email:schhetri@unfpa.org 
Johanna Huhtanen, Programme Support Officer, UN Women, Tel 4255110/4254899 Extn: 123 Email:johanna.huhtanen@unwomen.org

1 National Child Labour Report 2011
2 Child Protection Centres and Services (CPCS) 
3 Trafficking in Persons National Report 2011 
4 Nepal Demographic Health Survey 2011 
5 http://www.partners4prevention.org/resource/summary-report-why-do-some-men-use-violence-against-women-and-how-can-we-prevent-it