Law sought to end violence against women

Kathmandu, July 31:

Participants at an interaction held here today demanded that a law be introduced to control domestic violence against women.

Speaking at an interaction organised by Alliance Against Trafficking in Women and Children in Nepal (AATWIN), they said the law against domestic violence was the need of the 21st century.

Presenting a paper on ‘Need of Law to Control Domestic Violence’, Shanta Sedai, an advocate, said, “Even in this age of science, women are struggling to establish their rights.”

Women participants said types of violence against women included abortion, physical torture during pregnancy, child marriage, prostitution, trafficking, sexual harassment in office, misbehaviour and murder over dowry dispute.

“Due to the lack of a stringent law to penalise the guilty, cases of domestic violence are increasing and impunity is on the rise,” Sedai said. Patriarchal social system, lack of awareness, men’s control over financial matters, lack of employment and training and absence of women at the policy level are some of the factors that have caused a spurt in cases of domestic violence against women, she said.

Efforts were made in the past to introduce law on domestic, to no avail. Following pressure from NGOs and civil society, the then government registered Bill on Domestic Violence in the Parliament on February 22, 2002. However, with the Upper House dissolved on May 22, 2002, the effort got a blow. Secretary of the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare, Punya Prasad Neupane, said the ministry had submitted the amended Bill to the Parliament. Speaking at the interaction, 19 women CA members called for the introduction of a law to check domestic violence.