Girls and women in Nepal, and especially those living in rural areas, continue to face discrimination and violence due to the patriarchal culture and their lack of knowledge and skills, psychological support, and economic opportunities.
In Part 3 of the Constitution of Nepal, under Fundamental Rights and Duties, Article 18 refers to the “Right to Equality”. However, in practice this “right” is limited to the paper it is written on.
Despite significant efforts from the Government of Nepal (GoN), international agencies, non-governmental organizations and civil society organizations, Nepali girls and women continue to face major socio-economic discrimination.
“If a family has a chance of sending one of their children to a private school, it would almost certainly be a boy and not a girl. Boys are encouraged to speak their minds and get higher education and skills for employment, while girls are told to be submissive and do what their parents, families or guardians want. As teenagers, young girls are told to think about their future marriage”, says one of our participants from Mugu.
According to an article by the State Department (Nepal 2016 Human Rights Report) “Early and forced marriage, and rape and domestic violence against women, including dowry-related deaths, remains a serious problem.”
In an online article of My Republica, dated 24 October 2016, Ms. Bhagawati Ghimire (Acting Chairperson of the National Women’s Commission) states “Gender based violence is an increasing trend. It has been prevalent in society in the past and continues to thrive in the present day too.” Furthermore she states, “Women are compelled to tolerate the domestic violence because they aren’t self dependent. Having no rights over parental property and lacking job opportunities, women are forced to endure the violence silently.”
At EWN girls and women are given ample opportunities to speak up against injustice, discrimination and violence. With various training courses girls and women not only gain knowledge and skills – they learn to be assertive, they recognize their inner strengths, they take charge of their own lives, and they lead by example.