JANAKPUR: At least 48 per cent of women in Nepal suffer from one or the other form of violence against women (VAW) during their life, while 40 per cent of them fall prey to mental violence.
The statistic was shared at a discussion programme organized by National Women Commission (NWC) in Janakpurdham today.
The rise in the cases of VAW is attributed to the differences in cultural practices wherein a ritual considered sacred in one community is considered superstitious in another, the participants argued.
Ill –practices, social norms and vices as witchcraft, dowry system and child marriage and the like were also contributing factors leading to VAW making women further vulnerable and perturbed, they added.
On the occasion, Chief District Officer (CDO) of Janakpurdham Dilip Kumar Chapagain stated that due to the deeply entrenched social ill-practices, the forms of VAW were becoming more cruel and heinous.
Similarly, Assistant-CDO Danikanta Jha spoke of the need to establish a Law University to empower women with legal education and help battle the discriminatory practices wherein the birth of a baby boy is celebrated whereas the baby girl’s birth is regretted.
Likewise, Chief of the District Public Health Office, Janakpur Sachidananda Dev argued that various ill-practices and traditions, including the Madhu Srawani fasting observed by the women for their husbands should be bucked to lessen down the cases of VAW.
Women´s rights activists say the festival is an imposition on women as it burdens them with unnecessary responsibilities toward their husbands, but Mithila cultural activists stand by the festival as an expression of their unique culture.
Other participants as NWC Secretary Lekh Bahadur Karki, women rights activist Punam Chaudhary, District Chairman of Terai-Madhesh Lokatantrik Party Parameshower Shah and Ram Bahadur Karki of Family Planning Association Nepal among others underscored the need for legal provisions ensuring health services to the victim of VAW and other protection.
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