NEPAL: Improve Condition of Conflict-Hit Women: Rights Groups

Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Southern Asia
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 
General Women, Peace and Security
Sexual and Gender-Based Violence
Human Rights

Publishing a finding on sexual violence during the conflict period, Advocacy Forum and International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) have urged the government authorities to formulate programmes and policies to improve the conditions of conflict-hit women in Nepal.

Issuing a report 'Across the Lines: The Impact of Nepal's Conflict on Women' Monday, these organisations said that the findings were based on the detailed study of gender-based violence during the ten-year conflict to date.

"Sexual violence, including rape, was often under-reported. Women were detained, tortured, raped and killed for their suspected association with the Unified CPN (Maoist) or for belonging to the families of security forces personnel," said the Forum's executive director Mandira Sharma while speaking at the programme organised to release the report.

According to Sharma, wives, mothers and daughters who were displaced, killed, disappeared or tortured bore the brunt of the conflict.

"They had to carry economic and social responsibilities, acting as both breadwinners and care-givers, and defend their families while facing prejudice and discrimination from the state and their communities. This report finally records their suffering," she added.

Meanwhile, Kirsten Young of ICTJ expressed that without them the silence around gender-based violence would have continued.
Young further said, "We are determined to press the government and other agencies to immediately put in place strategies to improve conditions for women affected by the conflict and to prepare the ground for justice and sustainable peace."

The study was based on a combination of interviews with government agencies and other stake holders at the national level, focus group discussions at the community level and interviews with key informants and survivors of human rights violations in 16 districts in Nepal: Kailali, Dadheldhura, Accham, Bardiya, Kalikot, Rolpa, Dhansha, Dolakha, Makwanpur, Morang, Siraha, Saptari, Okhaldhunga, Baglung, Palpa and Kapilvastu