In 1991, the Women’s Global Leadership Institute started a campaign called 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence. It runs from November 25th to December 10th.
In 2021, the Women’s Protection Center in Nepal (WPC Nepal) launched their own awareness campaign against sexual violence in and around Hetauda, Nepal, because the problem of domestic and sexual violence causes systemic suffering for women and kids, and it perpetuates the intense poverty facing so many kids and families in Nepal.
Many of the children living in the WPC safe home come from abusive homes. Some watched their mothers get treated violently by their fathers or other male relatives. Some were victims of violence themselves.
Also, some of the women who attend our Vocational Tailoring Program have had to flee abusive homes, and are now force to provide for themselves and their children. By learning tailoring – an in-demand skill in Nepal – they are able to start businesses or get good jobs and become financially stable and independent.
But much of this wouldn’t be necessary if sexual and gender-based violence was not so common in Nepal.
Here are four activities WPC Nepal led in 2021 during the 16 days of activism against gender-based violence:
1) One-Day Orientation for Women
WPC Nepal ran a one-day program for women in Raksirang rural municipality ward number 3. Every woman who attended learned about their rights when faced with sexual or gender-based violence, including legal provisions, and how to prevent child marriage and human trafficking.
2) Public Rally Against Gender-Based Violence
During the 16 days of activism, WPC Nepal also coordinated a huge public rally against sexual violence. The message was clear:
No one should resort to violence, and violence must be opposed and countered with legal remedies. In trying to build a non-violent society in a culture where violence against women has been the norm, it will take the whole community to put a stop to it.
The rally included lighting a lamp and gave everyone the chance to sign up to take part in future campaigns and help raise awareness.
3) Managing Mental Health and Stress from Gender-Based Violence
WPC Nepal also organized an orientation program for thirty women in Hetauda-18 Harnamadi that taught them how to manage and overcome the mental and emotional stress caused by domestic and gender-based violence.
Many women who attended face violence in their daily lives, or they know someone else who does. They learned how to manage the trauma and work through it in healthy ways that lead to freedom and independence. The program was facilitated by WPC Nepal’s in-house psychologist, Monica Pariyar.
4) Media Campaign Against Gender-Based Violence
Lastly, an article was published in Samridha Samaj Rastriya Dainik Patrika, an online newspaper in Nepal. The article focused on the issue of sexual violence and included interviews with WPC Nepal’s Ram Mijar. More interviews were given on the radio, on 89.6 MHz.
In the article and the interview, Ram and others discussed the role of individuals, families, societies, political parties and stakeholders in reducing the level of violence against women in Nepali society.
Preventing sexual and gender-based violence will take the whole community. But anyone can make an impact – even people who don’t live in Nepal, like you.
WPC Nepal depends entirely on donations from the US through Friends of WPC Nepal. Ram and the rest of the WPC Nepal staff would not be able to go out and provide trainings for women, hold rallies, or work on getting the message against violence into the media without consistent financial support from people like you.
As we work to rescue women and kids from human trafficking and the forces that cause it like poverty, death, and domestic and gender-based violence, we also work to stop the violence itself.
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