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Violence against women and girls is a grave violation of human rights and yet it persists in almost every corner of the world. Today however, the lasting effects of the COVID-19 pandemic coupled with climate induced humanitarian crises have further exacerbated the risks of gender-based violence (GBV) for women and girls. 

In Nepal specifically, these conditions are heightened due to the prevalence of deep-rooted discriminatory socio-cultural norms and patriarchal attitudes resulting in many forms of violence against women and girls including harmful practices such as child marriage, gender-biased sex selection (GBSS), dowry, chaupadi etc. These forms of violence are eroding the resilience of women and girls and can cause severe physical and mental health consequences, including unintended pregnancies, life-threatening maternal health complications and increased levels of psychological distress, which could also lead to suicide. Shame, stigma, justification of violence as ‘normal’ and fear of retaliation is also restricting the help-seeking behavior of GBV survivors causing many to suffer in silence. In response, the Government of Nepal, the United Nations and other development partners, INGOs, NGOs, CSOs remain committed to ending all forms of violence against women and girls. 

However there remains much more to be done to ensure multi-sectoral and survivor-centered response support services are available and accessible for all women, girls and other marginalized groups while emphasizing the need for prevention interventions across the 7 Provinces of Nepal.

UNFPA Nepal is working with the Government and partners to advance gender equality, 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 practices that discriminate against and harm women