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Home » Resources » Nepal: Preliminary Mapping of Gender Based Violence

Nepal: Preliminary Mapping of Gender Based Violence

Publication Date: 
January, 2012
Asia Foundation

Research carried out in 2008 in Surkhet and Dang districts in Nepal reveals that 81 percent of women face domestic violence frequently. This is a clear indication of the high level of domestic violence prevalent in Nepali society. Nepali women and girls are vulnerable to both domestic violence and public violence. Domestic violence includes physical abuse (for example, beating, slapping, hair pulling, kicking, burning, beating with a stick, or using a knife) and mental torture (threats, verbal abuse, and neglect) by husbands or other relatives, and also includes early marriage, dowry-related violence, sexual abuse in the household, polygamy, and marital rape. Forced and early marriage is a pervasive phenomenon despite the legal age for marriage being 18. Violence in the public arena includes rape and sexual abuse in the workplace, trafficking of women and girls, and harmful traditional practices, such as payment of dowry, Deuki (girl being offered to god and not allowed to marry), Chhaupadi (the practice of keeping a menstruating woman in a small shed away from the main house, common in western Nepal) and accusations of witchcraft. Girls are one and-a-half times more likely to die before the age of five than their brothers and are twice as likely to be malnourished. Forty-three per cent of women experience sexual harassment in the workplace. Between 5,000 and 12,000 girls and women aged 10 to 20 years of age are trafficked every year, 75 percent of whom are below 18 years of age and the majority of whom are sold into forced prostitution.

As a part of its response for the prevention of gender based violence, the Government of Nepal has declared 2010 as the Year to End Gender Based Violence. The 2010 Action Plan against GBV, which is focused on prosecution, protection and prevention, highlights the need for a special commission to investigate cases of violence against women . A free hotline number (1111), which will directly connect to the Prime Minister's office, has also been made available.

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