Gender and Social Inclusion (February 1 to 8, 2019)


News February 2019

February 1, 2019 Friday

A Madhesi died in police custody. No one knows what really happened

Ram Manohar Yadav, 30 was arrested on August and died in the police custody after 10 days of arrest. Officers at the District Police Office in Bardiya said that Ram Manohar had collapsed in prison and had been rushed to Kathmandu for treatment, but he died on the way. Madhesi and human rights activists suspected that Ram Manohar died due to mistreatment and a failure to get him medical attention in time.

Woman dies of suffocation after she was banished to secluded home during menstruation

Twenty-one-year Parwati Bogati of Purbichauki Rural Municipality-5, who was sleeping alone in a different house due to menstruation, died of suffocation as she had lit a fire to keep herself warm in a rainy Wednesday night.

People deprived of eye care in Bajhang villages

Out of 500 senior citizens in Saipal, more than 300 have vision problems. People have to walk around three days to reach Chainpur, the district headquarters of Bajhang, from Dhalaun. As the financial condition of Siddhu’s family is poor, he has been deprived of treatment. Health worker Janak Kumar Bista said around 80 percent of the people, who are living with various eye problems in Saipal, can regain their vision if an eye camp is organised there.

Munda tribe of Jhapa continues to live in privation and penury

Bandhan Kumar Munda, leader of the Munda tribe, said his people continue to suffer even though the new constitution guarantees various rights and privileges to the ethnic minority groups. The population of Munda people stands at 2,350. However, the state has not yet identified them as marginalised group.

No lead yet on a dozen Nepalis held hostage in Libya

Nepali authorities are struggling to track down and rescue 12 Nepalis who have been reportedly held hostage in the North African country Libya for months. These Nepalis, who were en route to Italy, have been held captive by the agents who had lured them into well-paid jobs in the European country after taking hefty money.

Six trafficking victims rescued from Delhi

Representatives of Maiti Nepal with support from Delhi Commission for Women and Rescue Foundation, an India based local NGO, rescued six Nepali women from a private residence at Rajiv Nagar, Delhi, yesterday evening. They were kept there to be sent to Gulf countries. The rescued women between the ages of 19 and 32 years are now under the protection of DCWRF. Maiti Nepal said they were working with the DCWRF to bring them back to Kathmandu within a few days after completing legal procedures.

February 2, 2019 Saturday

37 women rescued in three days

The Maiti Nepal, the NGO working against human trafficking has rescued 37 Nepali women in the past three days from India. They were rescued with the help of Delhi Women’s Commission and Rescue Foundation in India, according to Maiti Nepal Information Officer Achyut Nepal. The women were reportedly being taken to Dubai, UAE and Iraq via Myanmar.

Over 100 Nepali women rescued from cottages, safe-houses and hotels in Indo-Myanmar border

In a day long operation, Manipur police and activists – in coordination with Delhi Women Commission and Maiti Nepal – rescued over 100 Nepali women from traffickers’ clutches from different cities in Manipur State in Northeast India, today. As many as 40 Nepali girls were rescued from a check post at Indo-Myanmar border in the town of Moreh. Likewise, 20 girls were recused from a cottage in Moreh. The trafficker holding the girls at the cottage is still at large. Similarly, Imphal West police rescued 61 women from a hotel in Imphal on Friday evening and arrested a trafficker, TheNorthEastToday reports. The arrestee has been identified as Asha Kaji Tamang of Sindhupalchok.

Contentious issues of citizenship bill discussed in House committee

The Nepal Citizenship Bill, which was drafted by the Ministry of Home Affairs, proposes to mention the name of the province in which the bearer resides, along with the local address, on the citizenship card. This would be applicable to citizens by descent and naturalised citizens. Lawmaker Rekha Sharma said that lawmakers had agreed on this provision. The meeting also suggested to the Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs and MoHA to choose appropriate words to be written on citizenship cards of people of other genders. At present, the citizenship cards mention three genders — male, female and others.

27 street children rescued

A joint team from Central Child Welfare Board and National Centre for Children at Risk rescued 27 street children from different areas of Kathmandu today. Twenty-five boys and two girls were rescued at midnight from Thamel, Basantapur, Pashupatinath and Kapurdhara areas.

Six Nepalese women rescued, DCW issues notice to police for ‘inaction’

The Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) has rescued six girls, who were trafficked from Nepal and brought to Delhi with promises to be taken to Gulf countries for jobs. The Commission rescued the women on Wednesday night from a house in Bhalaswa in northwest Delhi.

Lamas of Humla celebrate ‘Mane’ festival with gusto

This typical festival in the mountainous district of Humla is all about worshiping deity, playing drums, dancing, singing, feasting and merrymaking. It is also about wearing unique outfits, decorations and processions. ‘Mane’, the winter festival of the Lama community of Burause village has just got over. But the thrill lives on. The four-day festival begins on the 13th day of the waxing moon in the month of Magh according to the lunar calendar (January 28 this year) in Burause village and a day later in Simikot village. But in both places, it is celebrated with equal fervor and the same way. According to locals, this winter festival is a time for merrymaking and leisure chiefly for the farmers.

Woman inmate injured by stove

A female inmate at the district prison in Rautahat sustained critical injuries apparently after being burned by stove in the kitchen. On Thursday, Kalpana Gurung Rai, 26, of Dharan Municipality-13 of Sunsari was lighting stove in the female ward of the Gaur-based prison to prepare meal when her hair apparently caught fire leaving her injured. According to the prison administration, security personnel entered the women’s ward immediately after the accident and rushed her to the District Hospital, Gaur.

Chhaupadi deaths fail to teach people any lesson

On January 19, a woman and her two sons died of asphyxiation when the menstrual hut they were sheltering in caught fire while they were asleep. Amba Bohora, 35, along with her sons Suresh, 9, and Ramit, 7, died a tragic death, shocking many. There are dozens of women who have died untimely deaths in chhaupadi sheds. As per available figures, 12 women have died in this fashion in Achham district alone. In Dailekh also two women died in menstrual huts within a span of two months last year. Every year, a large number of women are dying in chhaupadi because of asphyxiation, snakebite, burns and the sheer cold. Others have been victims of rape and sexual violence within the confines of the menstrual hut.

February 3, 2019 Sunday

Number of leprosy cases increasing despite govt efforts

In 2010, Nepal was declared leprosy-free but the case has been increasing now. WHO listed 22 countries, in which Nepal with 1.52 per cent new cases are detected each year. 2,733 leprosy patients were receiving treatment out of which 278 were new cases, 237 were children, 2 disability and 1,434 were new female patients.

Lawmakers visit Bajura for field study of chhaupadi

A team of Parliament members has arrived in Bajura to carry out a field study of chhaupadi. The team arrived here on Thursday and held an interaction on chhau tradition and its impact with the people’s representatives of local levels, heads of security agencies, NGO representatives, women and girls.

Cultural heritages means of economic prosperity’

At a Sonam Lhochhar programme organised by Mandan Deupur Lhochhar Cultural Festival 2075 in Kavre, Minister Banskota said that available means should be utilised to transform the cultural strength into economic power. He addressed to move ahead by integrating resources like water, forest, land, human and knowledge in an integrated manner for this materialize. Stating that culture was also a vital part of tourism infrastructure, Minister Banskota assured the government’s full support for the promotion of tourism related activities.

New mothers deprived of allowance

The provision of monetary allowance for women delivering a child at government health facilities has been in effect for years in the country. New mothers get the allowance immediately after child birth. Presently, the scheme aims to promote safe motherhood programme under which new mothers get Rs 2,000 and extra Rs 800 for meeting the criteria set for visiting a health centre for pregnancy check-ups for up to four times. As per policy, the allowance is to be distributed on the spot. However, it could not take place in the current fiscal.

Family receives body of Ram Manohar Yadav five months after he died in police custody

Bishnu Yadav received the body of his brother, Ram Manohar Yadav who died in police custody in Bardiya in September last year. Bishnu reached Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital on Sunday afternoon. The Yadav family accused the police of conducting an autopsy without their consent. They never received a copy of the post-mortem report, neither has it been made public.

Nepal to resume talks with Bhutan on refugee repatriation

Nepal has decided to resume talks with Bhutan to repatriate the remaining 6,500 Bhutanese refugees who are living in two camps in Jhapa. The initiative will be first in the last one and a half decades after the 15th round of ministerial-level talks with Thimphu failed in 2003.

Police find neighbours involvement in rape and murder of minor girl in Biratnagar; culprits arrested

Police have arrested two persons in connection to the rape and murder of a minor girl in Biratnagar, an incident that occurred on January 27. Investigation revealed that 11-year-old Rupmati Das, alias Guddi, was raped and murdered by her own neighbours.Following a week-long investigation, Morang Police arrested Abbas Ansari, 25, and Chandu Mahato, 19, for their alleged involvement in the heinous crime. They are wage earners and drug addict, police said while making the accused public on Sunday.

Women run the fields

According to the World Bank, the female labour force participation in agriculture of Nepal remains at 83 percent compared to 72 percent of the male labour force. Even though women devote many hours of their day in farming and household activities, their contribution has not been recognised in the national GDP. On the flipside, the feminisation of agriculture has also brought positive impacts. For instance, some women have access to increased control over their finances and income apart. However, many of these women still lack access to the wide range of resources such as extension services, technical support, and training as compared to their male counterparts.

February 4, 2019 Monday

Bir Hospital gynecology unit rarely sees patients

Gynaecologists rarely have visitors, despite free treatment in Bir Hospital. The service is free of cost even the tickets and some of the medicines too. Before, 300 to 400 patient visited the unit earlier for antenantal and postnatal examinations, immunization and other services. But these days the unit sees only about 30 to 35 patients a day.

Nepal Police sets up separate bureau to look into human trafficking cases

With the rise in the cases of human trafficking, Nepal Police has set up a dedicated bureau to investigate and prevent the crime. The Human Trafficking Bureau will have more than 50 staff under the leadership of SSP Ishwar Babu Karki. It will begin its operation from February 13. Nepal Police is also planning to set up similar bureaus in all seven provinces.

‘Chhori-Buhari scholarship’ to girl students of Karnali

The Ministry of Social Development has brought into operation the ‘Chhori-Buhari Scholarship’ scheme through this fiscal year’s budget programme targeting the daughters and daughter-in-laws. In doing so, the province government has planned to make a budgetary investment of Rs 15 million. A process has started to provide higher-education scholarships to genuine students under technical genre, student with disability, Dalit students and siblings of those who obtained martyrdom in course of establishing Karnali province.

Health ministry airlifts 16 pregnant women in three years

The Department of Health Services has been providing free airlift services to the pregnant and lactating women, who face serious health issues, under Family Health programme since 2015. According to the data with Family Welfare Division, sixteen women were airlifted between the fiscals 2015/16 and 2017/18. Public health officer at FWD Om Khanal said two women from Mugu and one from Humla received the service in the fiscal 2015/16. Bimala Baniya was referred from Shreekot Health Post, Mugu, to Bheri Zonal Hospital, Banke, due to complications during pregnancy.

Kamaiya women campaign to end gender violence

Women from Kamaiya community, freed labourers, have launched campaigns to end gender-based violence in Kailali district. The women organised public awareness campaigns against gender violence in all 13 local units of the district, saying that women from their community cannot reach the concerned authorities for legal support. Kailali has around 700 Kamaiya women, and the network has been providing legal counsel to them.  Around 200 awareness programmes in various communities have been conducted till date.

Cancer to affect around 30,000 more Nepalis in 2019

The number of cancer patients is on the rise in Nepal and an approximate 30,000 to 40,000 new cases are likely to be reported in 2019, according to data at the Nepal Cancer Relief Society. Cancer, the second leading cause of deaths globally, kills female more than men in the country. In 2018, of the 19,413 deaths due to cancer, 11,258 were women. Data shows that Nepalis are more prone to lungs, breast, colorectal, prostate and stomach cancer.

February 5, 2019 Tuesday

Police seize Ram Manohar Yadav’s body on the way to funeral

Police arrested more than 40 supporters who had come from the eastern districts to attend Ram Manohar Yadav’s funeral. Many people travelled several hours by bus from Saptari and Siraha district to pay tribute to Ram Manohar. But after they took the van along with ram’s body, the villagers protested and marched towards Piparahawa. The protestors went live on Facebook, most of them were women demanding to return Ram’s body for the funeral. Finally the van was released around 3pm.

Rural women’s access to property nominal

Due to family burden, kitchen and household chores, rural women has nominal access to property. The district land Revenue Office Surkhet has revealed the fact that rural women have nominal access to land and property in which 33 percent of the land/house registration pass was recorded to be in the names of women.

Whereabouts of five Nepalis abducted in Libya still unknown

There has been no news about the Nepali youths kidnapped by the Libyan human traffickers, though many sources have informed that they had been held hostage at a place called Misrata, but they still don’t know the exact location of the hostages in Misrata district in north-western part of Libya.

Cold winter nights add to the trauma of women banished to period huts

Bimala Bohara has been spending five days of a month inside a shed every single time she has had her period since her early teens. Now 28, Bohara said the worst aspect of Chhaupadi is practising the custom in the cold when temperatures plummet and it is almost difficult to fall asleep inside the shed. They can’t build a fire inside because the shed gets filled with smoke, and then it becomes suffocating. Even though the Supreme Court banned Chhaupadi in 2005, and a new law that criminalizes Chhaupadi came into effect from August 2017, the practice is still prevalent in the western region of the country and takes many lives every year.

February 6, 2019 Wednesday

Over 300 Nepalis trafficked through the India-Myanmar border from December to January

In what could be the biggest incident of trafficking of Nepali citizens in a month, authorities in Manipur, the northeastern state of India, and activists have said that as many as 301 Nepali men and women might have been smuggled into other countries using the India-Myanmar border.

Government fails to give concrete answer on Nirmala Pant rape and murder probe

It has been six months since the rape and murder of Nirmala Pant, a 13-year-old girl from Kanchanpur, but the government appears clueless on the status of the investigation as Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa failed on Wednesday to furnish a concrete answer to the House.

February 7, 2019 Thursday

Hand over victims’ complaints to NHRC: Civil society

Civil society members have urged the government to protect complaints and testimonies collected from victims and families of those who were killed or disappeared during the Maoist insurgency. Issuing a joint statement Wednesday, hours before the parliament debated a new bill to extend the terms of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and the Commission for Enforced Disappeared Persons for the third time, civil society members called on the stakeholders concerned to hand over complaints, evidences and documents gathered from victims of atrocities to the National Human Rights Commission so as to ensure the privacy of victims and their families.

February 8, 2019 Friday

Reproductive health issues still a taboo subject among women in Achham

Women of Dhakari Rural Municipality-4 in Achham district  feel “embarrassed” to talk about her ailment because of the nature of it and because it’s “personal”. Sexual health, of course, does not make for conversations over tea but the stigma attached to sexual and reproductive health conditions in the rural areas have led to many women suffering in silence.

Photo: Sushma Bhatta

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