News Digest – Gender & Social Inclusion (December 10 – December 16, 2020)

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Girls in School

Pervasive violation of rights: According to the report of Asian Human Rights Commission, government had been infringing various human rights and depriving victims from receiving justice using COVID crisis as an excuse. There are substantial evidences of stifling of free speech in the past several months. The number of custodial deaths is also seen to be exponentially high. Further, members of Dalit community have faced hardships more than ever during this time.

Ordinance on rape not gender neutral: LGBTQ community has decried the new ordinance as it failed to recognise that people other than women and girls can also be raped. As per the news reports, the draft ordinance had replaced the word ‘women; with ‘persons’. However, due to many criticisms received about the particular provision being apathetic to the sufferings of the victim, the provision got removed. Third genders are facing problems owing to non-inclusive nature of rape laws and they have no recourse to the crime.

Urgency in addressing child trafficking: Children are bearing the brunt of pandemic-induced poverty, which has resulted in soaring number of child trafficking within Nepal and cross-borders. Kailash Satyarthi, Nobel Peace Laureate has admonished the government of both India and Nepal to pay urgent attention to the issue and take necessary steps to address it.

70 year old woman raped and murdered: A 35-year-old man was held for raping and murdering a 70-year-old woman in Jhapa on December 9. The perpetrator himself confessed to the police about the location of the body of the deceased. Further investigation is ongoing.

63 year old man charged for rape: A 63-year-old man was arrested for raping an 11-year-old girl in Udayapur on December 9. As per the police, Udayapur district has reported 19 incidents of rape in the past four months. The median age of the victims is between 10 to 35.

Cumulative efforts required to combat VAW:  Minister of Women, Children and Senior-Citizens stated that it requires joint effort of non-government institutions, civil societies and individuals to tackle gender-based violence. Women rights activists have also acknowledged the distressing implications on women’s lives due to violence.

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