Kathmandu, Nov. 26: The 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence kicked off Friday with a view to raising awareness against the gender based violence. This year’s theme of the activism is ‘from peace at home to peace in the world: violence free society for sustainable development.’
Various organizations working for women rights have joined hands to mark the beginning of the campaign.
Minister for Youth and Sports Daljit Shreepaili inaugurated the campaign amid a function jointly organised by the Ministry of Women Children and Social Welfare and National Women Commission (NWC).
Minister Shreepaili said that although the government declared gender-based violence as a serious crime against humanity; violence against women continued to occur. “This is a serious challenge to developing prosperous and equal society.”
Though the government has been seriously working against the GBV, still 26 per cent women were subjected to domestic violence, early marriage and have been facing different forms of discrimination in the name of social and traditional values, he said
He stressed the need for restoring peace at home for achieving the goal of sustainable development by 2030 and institutionalising the rights guaranteed by the constitution.
Bishnu Prasad Lamsal, Secretary of the Ministry for Women Children and Social Welfare, said the impact of gender based violence could be seen in country development in the long run.
He said the government and non-government should collectively work together to battle against the GBV.
Similarly, acting chairperson of NWC Bhagwati Ghimire said that the commission had planned to organise various awareness programmes across the country.
Meanwhile, Australian ambassador to Nepal Glenn White and Chairperson of Maiti Nepal Anuradha Koirala jointly launched a 16-day activism.
As a part of the activism, the embassy, in partnership with Maiti Nepal, organised awareness programme at four different schools across the Kathmandu Valley to educate school students on issues of gender based violence.
During the programme, the students were handed out white ribbons and be explained about the importance of expressing solidarity in fighting VAW. The programme will also include street dramas, distribution of information leaflets and display of banners on VAW, informed Maiti Nepal.
Addressing the programme ambassador White said, “Violence against women is unacceptable as it is a significant human rights violation that has a profound and devastating impact on its victims communities and society as a whole.”
Ambassador White called on all the students to stop tolerating poor behaviour by men and boys, and to make sure that boys respect girls as their equals and daughters realise that being a woman does not limit their potential.
Chairperson of Maiti Nepal Koirala said, “Women are still subjected to violence and trafficking and we are still staggering from providing the rightful status women deserve in this society. It has now become more imperative than ever that all of us give this issue the attention it deserves and work towards resolving it united”.
“At the same time we, as a woman, must not be silent witnesses or turn deaf ears, especially if we find violence in and around our homes. In order to empower ourselves and other women, we must speak up against it,” she added.
Highlighting the importance of youth involvement in this moment she further said, “Youth have even more important role to play in this movement. They can set the path of developing a women-friendly society where relationships are based on mutual respect and equal priorities”.