‘This is not a celebration; this is a campaign against injustice and oppression of women’
These powerful words were spoken by the Chief Administrative Officer, Nara Bahadur Rawat, of Sarkegad Rural Municipality in Humla, Upper Karnali, during the 16 days of Activism event 1.12.
On 25.11, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, the 16 days of Activism campaign was kicked-off at the SUSWA office, calling on all municipalities in Karnali to take action to prevent and eliminate violence against women and girls. Sarkegad Rural Municipality committed to the task 💪 The banner can be seen hanging outside other municipality offices in Karnali as well, such as in Palata in Kalikot.
Why does this commitment matter?
Violence against women and girls is not only one of the worst forms of discrimination but also remains the most widespread and pervasive human rights violations in the world. According to Nepal Human Rights Yearbook 2022, published by Informal Sector Service Centre (INSEC), discriminatory policies and laws, and a weakening of the accountability of law enforcement agencies, indicate a sense of indifference of the state institutions to protect human rights, especially gender-based violence. While reported cases of rape in Nepal continue to increase, police are seen as reluctant to register or investigate cases, resulting in widespread impunity for sexual violence. Nepal also has one of the highest rates of child marriage in Asia.
✊ SUSWA works with municipalities in Karnali strengthening their capacity as duty bearers. Municipalities have a duty to work for strong protection mechanisms to prevent and eliminate violence, harassment, threats, intimidation and discrimination of those working for women’s rights.
✊ SUSWA aims to collaborate, and strengthen collaboration of municipalities, with women rights groups and movements across Karnali and Nepal, so that they can continue to play their critical role in preventing and eliminating violence against women and girls.
✊SUSWA working area municipalities, communities and households in Karnali will work towards ensuring that WASH facilities are accessible for all, at all times.
Pictures and video shared by SUSWA Sarkegad RM WASH Unit Coordinator Nilbikram Shahi, and WASH Advisors Hari Upadhyay and Madan Bhandari.