Spike in sexual violence against young girls and women
Nepal is experiencing a concerning rise in sexual related crimes. The tragic gang rape of two women of the nomad Rautes community by three men sparked outraged amongst the Nepali people.
There are a plethora of reasons why Nepali girls and women are experiencing more and more violence targeted towards them. Deep rooted gender inequality, misogyny/ sexism, impunity, and indifference to sexual violence are deeply ingrained into Nepali everyday life and will take time and effort to combat.
Furthermore, data collected by the Women’s Rehabilitation Centre (WOREC) suggests that the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown exacerbated the already rising trend, leading to a total of 200 recorded cases of violence committed against children and women in the first month of the pandemic alone.
However, the actual number of survivors must be substantially higher since most survivors, to protect their family’s honour or out of fear for repercussions (threats of further violence for example), do not report violence committed against them.
There are many NGO’s and INGO’s committed to the fight against rape and violence against women and committed to combat rape culture and to address issues of gender-based violence (hereafter GBV). In 2010, Nepal enacted the GBV Elimination Fund, which provides money to victims and to educating the population regarding this pressing matter. However, many local bodies in Nepal have yet to take advantage of the fund, which is the reason why on 18 June 2021, the UNESCO-UNFPA-UN Women Joint Programme, with support from KOICA, organised its second Community of Knowledge (CoK) in partnership with the Forum for Women, Law, and Development (FWLD), entitled “Establishment of GBV Elimination Fund at Local Level and its Effectiveness,” to share the experiences of local governments in establishing GBVE funds.