HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: Women’s Rehabilitation Centre (WOREC), an NGO monitoring incidents of gender-based violence, said incidents of torture meted out to women in the allegation of practising witchcraft are on the rise in urban areas.
In a press statement, the organisation said they recorded five such cases in the month of Falgun (mid-February to mid-March).
The statement said two women were brutally beaten up for witchcraft in Kathmandu after a heinous killing of Dhegani Devi Mahato a month ago. On February 17, a mob had burnt a 40-year-old woman alive at a village in Chitwan accusing her of practising witchcraft and casting black magic spells.
Two days ago, Sunita Pudasaini and her cousin Khom Kumari were brutally thrashed for witchcraft. The incidents show that women are victims of evil practices and superstition prevailing in society, said the statement.
WOREC showed its worries and pointed that it has recorded about 92 cases related to witchcraft from mid-April last year to mid-February this year. Mainly, poor and single women are targeted as witch, it said.
Although the Supreme Court directed the government to organise awareness programmes regarding inhuman social evils, the government is yet to take any concrete step, which has given a boost to brutality on women, said the statement.
Torturing of women is against the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women that the government has signed for protection of women, said the statement.
The organisation has recorded only 124 cases of violence against women this month.
According to the report, 13 women were killed, 75 became victims of domestic violence, five were accused of witchcraft, three survived murder attempts, five were victims of sexual violence and 14 were cases of polygamy this month. The report showed that 10 women were raped and one became the victim of attempted rape this month.
About 23 women were given psychological torture and 37 were physically assaulted by their family, relatives and neighbours, said the report.
The WOREC report is based on the incidents of violence against women carried by different media and the complaints received at its offices in different districts.