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Violence against Women in Nepal: The Downside of Denial

On March 14th of this year, a 23-year-old woman, whom the police identified as Sunita, was severely beaten for refusing a marriage proposal in Kanchanpur, Nepal. She had her eyes gouged out and hot ghee poured over her body. The suspect Rakesh Chand, who had offered his hand in marriage, then fled. He had been harassing her for months and had already attacked her in the past.

Thanks to our finely honed, world-class gender discrimination young women are overwhelmingly the victims.

The victims of violence in South Asian society tend to be women because of a finely honed system where gender discrimination is king. One man or groups of men who cannot take no for an answer have no qualms attacking women. Boys and girls are conditioned to believe that women are the lesser species. I sometimes think all Indian males are need of counselling! They are so used to getting what they want from their mothers that they cannot face rejection or even negative feedback when they grow up and enter the real world!

Sunita undergoing treatment. Copyright: Preeti Shakya

A minority of men resort to extreme measures. Acid attacks are not infrequent; murder is less common but by no means unheard of!

When women survive such attacks they are pursued by physical and psychological trauma. Often they are left dependent on their families. Sometimes they are ostracized by society.

This is not an issue that can be taken lightly. It is not an issue that can simply be brushed off and trivialized. It is not an issue that can be ignored just because it hasn’t happened to you.

Whether we know the victims or not, whether we remember their names tomorrow or not, such attacks will continue to be a problem unless everyone stands together to do something about it. And this all starts with us.

It starts by educating ourselves and the next generation about the meaning of consent. We must engage in dialogue and campaign for the government to introduce stricter laws, to punish the perpetrators of such horrific crimes and set up better services for their victims.

Choosing to act as if an issue doesn’t exist simply because we think it does not concern us personally makes us part of the problem. This is the reality we live in. This reality can be changed. We simply need to believe that a better reality is possible!

 

Author: Preeti Shakya (act)

 

Date

03.05.2018 | 9:34

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