VAW cases highly prevalent in Achham

ACHHAM: Accham, a district in the far-western Nepal, is ahead in view of the happening of cases of violence against women (VAW).

Domestic violence, rape, chhaupadi (seclusion from home and family during menstruation), other gender-based violence and discrimination in labour wage are among the issues of women in Achham, the part of Province 7.

This is what participants of an interaction programme on "identification of issues of human rights' organised here today were sharing with.

The programme was organised by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) at the district headquarters Mangalsen.

According to Women Development Officer, Bhagawati Aryal, though sexual harassment and violence against women is prevalent in the district, most of the cases go unrecorded as they remain unexpressed. Women's rights are not secured here due to deeply rooted patriarchal thinking, harmful practices against them and their least access to education opportunities.

At the programme, journalist Menuka Dhungana said child or early marriage is one the reasons behind increasing VAW cases in this one of the remotest districts in the country.

Of the VAW cases registered at the District Police Office, Achham, most are related to domestic violence against women, but they are settled through mediation, as stated by Achham's police chief Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Dadhiram Neupane. Only one-third of cases are reported to the police while two-third blotted out and in some cases, survivors/women are unable to visit the police administration to report what had happened to them.

The Office data shows that a total of 154 VAW cases were registered at the office last fiscal year. Likewise, in the past three months, it recorded five cases of rape. In some cases, the perpetrator and survivor come together with a request to settle the case.

On the occasion, Achham's Chief District Officer Kishor Kumar Chaudhary said the State bodies are fully committed and sensitive as well towards the guarantee of human rights.

NHRC officer Pawan Kumar Bhatta sharing information about the NHRC works, duties and responsibilities with the participants, expressed his grievances over the government's apathy towards the implementation of the NHRC recommendations.