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Young Nepalese Women Rise against patriarchy

by: Anisha Pokharel

Oh God, not again! I don’t know why newspapers are always filled with violence against women in different forms these days. Women are always susceptible to violence in each and every step of her life. Between April 2012-13, WOREC recorded 793 cases of domestic violence, 200 cases of social violence, 256 cases of rape, 42 cases of attempt to rape, 163 cases of murder and 22 cases of attempt to murder, 32 cases of trafficking and 55 cases of sexual violence. It is not common for women to seek assistance from any source to deal with the violence they have experienced; 77% have never sought help and 64% have never told anyone. Beyond such direct forms of violence, women experience violence when trafficked into forced labor or prostitution. 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.

With a heavy heart, I rushed towards my college. On my way, I saw a bunch of young men standing at a corner café. They are quite famous among girls. Not because of their looks, but because they are experts in teasing girls passing by them. One of my friends, Kriti, was once surrounded them by and terrified by foul words she was hearing them say. I still remember how she came panting and crying. Sometimes, they try to stop your way, sometimes play with your curls, sometimes flirt, and sometimes even touch your body. Luckily, I have not come across them and I am trying to avoid them. But, I guess we can find such groups at each and every street corner.

Waiting for a bus is the hardest job for me and I really hate it because the bus is always overpacked and we have to squeeze like tomatoes. This is another place for violence as the situation is so vulnerable. Some creepy men would love to take advantage of the situation and try to touch here and there just to calm their “burning desires”. Once, a middle-aged man came shrugging near me. I was sure he had no good intentions and I am always ready for such situations. I immediately took a safety-pin from my bag and hid it. As he was rubbing his arm against mine, I pierced the pin (U can imagine the pain) so hard ;), he yelled with pain and ran away to the next side of the bus. I felt so happy as if I won a big battle for my independence.

I have been advocating against the gender violence through my facebook page We Rise. Similarly, I always advice my female friends how to tackle the situation so that they don’t have to breakdown emotionally or physically. You can imagine that the situation is dire. But we can’t just keep on being exploited and tortured. If we wait until all is prefect to move, we will never move ahead. If we can be soft and kind, we also can roar and fight.

Information sources:

• Office of Prime Minister and Council of Ministers, 2012
• Nepal Demographic and Health Survey, 2011

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