Women, girls not safe in open spaces: WHR


Kathmandu, October 16

Women from Tarkeshwor Municipality in the Kathmandu Valley today said that women and girls living in open spaces after the recent earthquakes were not safe.

Speaking at an interaction on ‘Safety Audit For Women’ at Tarkeshwor Municipality-13, Battisha Maharjan, chairperson, Women for Human Rights, Single Women Group-Dharmasthali, said many women were raped and physically abused while staying in open spaces after the quake. She further said that many of these young women and girls were raped by family members, but were under pressure to keep their mouth shut.

“Women and girls have not only been raped but also trafficked from the area,” she said.

The program was organised by WHR head office and supported by UN Women.

Earlier this week, members of WHR had visited various places in Kathmandu to talk to the locals about the threats girls and women faced while staying in open spaces after the recent earthquakes.

Uma Thapa, communication officer, UN Women, said women’s safety audit conducted in many countries have shown that women experience harassment in public places. She said the main objective of women’s safety audit was to raise awareness about the gender needs and women’s safety as well as to identify spaces that are perceived as unsafe to women and girls.

The study also aims to identify forms of violence faced by women in public spaces and to find out women’s access to relief after the earthquake.

She further said that WHR is organising a walk at Dharmasthali, Kathmandu, on October 18.