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Despite Pandemic and Lockdown; Women still continue to suffer!
Home Fact Sheet Despite Pandemic and Lockdown; Women still continue to suffer!

Despite Pandemic and Lockdown; Women still continue to suffer!

by Public Health Update

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Despite Pandemic and Lockdown; Women still continue to suffer!

Alisha Bhandari

The novel coronavirus infection has so far claimed three lives in Nepal, while close to 548 people have been infected with the disease. The government had first imposed the nationwide lockdown on March 24 which was repeatedly extended. On May 6, the government extended the lockdown till May 18. Government isn’t sure how long it would have to battle against the coronavirus pandemic, it is mulling over allowing people staying in quarantine centers to do productive work so that they could contribute to the national economy while following social distancing rules. Lockdown in its own invites various problems and tension to an individual ranging in wide variation from economic problem to triggering mental health problems.

However , women apart from problems of lockdown and pandemic problems are still suffering from domestic violence. Among the recorded cases, 198 cases are of domestic violence, 29 cases of social violence, among social violence 14 cases are of forced marriage and child marriage, 11 cases blaming on character, 4 cases of mental torture by condemning as bokshi (witch). Similarly, 48 cases of rape, 10 cases of attempt to rape, 12 cases of sexual abuse, 5 cases of murder, and 2 cases are under investigation to figure out whether the cases are of suicide or murder, 16 cases of suicide, 2 cases of attempt to suicide. 2 cases of attempt to murder, 2 cases of human trafficking and 10 cases of cyber-crime were recorded.

WOREC, Nepal

WOREC, Nepal

 

Three hundred thirty six cases of violence against women and girls committed during lockdown from 33 districts of Nepal. GBV cases were documented from following districts:  Dhanusha 33, Morang 59, Rukum 9, Kailali 40, Kanchanpur 1,  Dang 20, Kathmandu 11, Bhaktapur 1, Bardiya 12, Siraha 47, Saptari 1, Sarlahi 2, Udaypur 22, Sunsari 21, Banke 2, Syngja 2, Baglung 1, Mahotari 9 , Rauthat 4, Parsha 2, Terahthum 1, Okhaldhunga 1, Gulmi 1, Sindhuli 2,Solukhumbu 1. Dhading 11, Bajhang 14, Gorkha 1, Lamjung 1, Humla 1, Kapilvastu 1, Salyan 1, Chitwan 1.

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WOREC, Nepal

Possible Solution

Though, domestic violence have been deep rooted in the society, it demands combined effort of multisectoral stakeholder and EDP’s to make people aware about gender based violence and domestic violence. Following possible solution could be adopted to mitigate domestic violence.

  1. Funding women’s full participation in civil society. Women who are active in civil society can be highly effective in influencing global, regional and national treaties, agreements and laws and in exerting pressure to ensure their implementation. More money needs to flow toward supporting women’s active participation in civil society.
  2. Scaling up prevention efforts that address unequal gender power relations as a root cause of gender-based violence. Some programs have effectively structured participatory activities that guide the examination of gender norms and their relationship to power inequities, violence and other harmful behaviors. They work with multiple stakeholders across the socio-ecological spectrum and across multiple sectors. But, we need to do a better job of evaluating these programs so we can move them from limited, small-scale pilots to larger-scale, societal-change programs.
  3. Addressing the needs of child survivors, including interventions to disrupt the gender-based violence cycle. In shelters and services for women, it is common to see children of all ages in waiting rooms or safe houses. But, it is rare to see anyone working with these children, who have experienced a traumatic event. Sometimes they are victims, but most likely they are witnesses to violence against their mothers. We lack trained professionals to work with children who have experienced gender-based violence, especially when the perpetrators are parents or other family members.
  4. Developing guidance for building systems to eliminate gender-based violence. There is ample global guidance on how to address gender-based violence through certain sectors, such as health, or through discrete actions, such as providing standards for shelters or training for counselors. But, we are missing practical guidance for building the whole system from A to Z — putting laws into practice, raising awareness of services and creating budgets.
  5. Developing support programs for professionals experiencing second hand trauma. After three years of working with a program to address school-related gender-based violence, I had to walk away. Despite my commitment to ending gender-based violence, I simply could not hear another awful story. My experience is not unique. Burnout is a reality, and we lack qualified people to deal with gender-based violence survivors.

References

  1. Stopping Violence Against Women: A Challenge to Governments (Human Rights Watch Backgrounder, June 2000 – Five Years after the UN Conference on Women – Beijing Plus Five) [Internet]. Hrw.org. 2020 [cited 23 May 2020]. Available from: https://www.hrw.org/legacy/backgrounder/wrd/fiveplus.htm
  2. WOREC, Nepal [Internet]. Worecnepal.org. 2020 [cited 23 May 2020]. Available from: https://www.worecnepal.org/aboutus.php
  3. 16 ways to end violence towards girls [Internet]. Plan International. 2020 [cited 23 May 2020]. Available from: https://plan-international.org/ending-violence/16-ways-end-violence-girls
  4. WHO | Gender and women’s mental health [Internet]. Who.int. 2020 [cited 23 May 2020]. Available from: https://www.who.int/mental_health/prevention/genderwomen/en/
  5. “Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 Dataset”. Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 Dataset. Retrieved 25 April 2020

Alisha Bhandari , Student, BPH 7th Semester, Central College, Pokhara University


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