The push to end Gender Based Violence in Nepal
In 2011, the Nepali Government published a report stating that they would be looking to establish a new initiative that year to address the high rates of gender based violence (GBV) in Nepal. The initiative was designed to proved a holistic approach to caring for survivors of GBV, through establishing a series of comprehensive one-door facilities in order to make the process of seeking assistance safer and more accessible. The Ministry of Health and Population was tasked with the implementation of the program and has since created a network of One-Stop Crisis Management Centres (OCMCs) through-out the country.
Since the beginning of the program, 21 OCMCs have been established, servicing 20% of districts in Nepal. These centres provide holistic care and services to survivors of GBV, including housing, healthcare, legal aid, psycho-social counselling, security and vocational skills training. So far, these centres have assisted 1,240 individuals, 98.06% of which were women, and it is hoped that the program will be expanded to host a centre in each of the 75 districts of Nepal.
The National Women’s Commission is also implementing new measures to assist gender based violence survivors, with the introduction of a 24/7 crisis helpline. The service aims to tackle the stigma surrounding GBV and its reporting by providing an annonymous service for survivors and witnesses alike to come forward and talk about what they’ve experienced. Through the helpline, callers are further connected to support services including the police and OCMCs on a case-by-case basis. As with any new initiative or program, implementation is key and we are eager to see the positive results from this initiative.
Where inequality exists in a community, everyone is at a disadvantage and confronting gender inequality is essential to create thriving communities. Here at Seven Women we are proud to be changing cultural norms regarding GBV, by helping to educate the entire community on the benefits of gender equality. Not only do we support, educate and empower marginalised women, we also run a complimentary program to educate husbands, fathers and men about the importance of gender equality. These classes have seen numerous men educated on the importance of equality and has seen a decrease in domestic violence rates in the communities we work with.
The work of Seven Women, alongside other organisations such as the Nepali government, Maiti Nepal and Cap Nepal, have made a positive impact on many women’s lives and has helped to progress the idea of gender equality through-out Nepalese communities. With the construction of our guesthouse projected to finish this September, we can’t wait to educate, empower and employ more women, helping them to gain financial independence and break the cycle of poverty.