Laws sought to check violence against women

Kathmandu, November 25:

The National Collaboration against Gender Violence Against Women today organised a rally here, demanding that legal provisions be made to end all forms of Violence Against Women VAW).

Representatives of various international and national non-governmental organisations took part in the rally which originated from New Baneshwor and converged at the Maitighar Mandala.

The rallyists handed over a memorandum to the Minister for Women, Children and Social Welfare Urmila Aryal.

The memorandum states, “There are not enough legal provisions to combat VAW. The existing provisions are not implemented effectively. Though VAW is taken as a crime, victim women’s rights to compensation, justice, rehabilitations and legal supports have not been ensured.”

The memorandum also calls for the ratification of the Optional Protocol of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).

Addressing the rallyists, Minister Aryal said the proposed bills on Domestic Violence Act, National Women’s Commission and Trafficking in Human Act will be tabled in the House of Representatives once the cabinet approves them.

“Bills concerning women are given less priority in the cabinet,” Aryal said, adding: Though the Trafficking in Human Act Bill was presented to the cabinet three months ago, it has not yet been finalised.”

Aryal said the ministry is coordinating with other ministries to take up women’s issues.

Sapana Pradhan Malla, president of the Forum for Women, Law and Development, said: “The incidences of VAW are on the rise because there is a lack of legal provisions to check domestic violence.”

“Once the Optional Protocol of CEDAW is ratified, the State will be bound to formulate legal provisions to address VAW.”

Marking the beginning of 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence Against Women, the organisers of the rally also collected signatures. The signatures will be submitted to the PM through the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare.

Meanwhile, speaking at a programme organised by the Women Rehabilitation Centre (WOREC), Dr Renu Rajbhandari, president of the WOREC, urged the State to make efforts for putting an end to all forms of VAW. Geeta Uprety, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, said lack of legal provisions has made it difficult to check VAW.