News Digest – Gender & Social Inclusion (October 8 -14)

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Life struggles

Covid-19 strikes Labour Migration Office: The smooth operation of government offices imparting services related foreign employment has halted after a few government officials tested positive for COVID-19. Indefinite suspension of all compensation-related services has impacted the families of the deceased or injured migrant workers. The services of issuing labour permit was also suspended, however, it started operating partially since October 12.

Seven year old girl raped: A 43-year-old man was held by the police on October 7 from Baneshore for allegedly raping a seven year old girl. Police have begun the investigation for the case. 

Public demand death sentence for rapists: The rising number of rape cases has provoked demand for death sentence, which the constitution has forbidden. Former chief justice suggests legislations against law is stringent, however proper implementation is required. Nepal has ratified international conventions that bars capital punishment. Thus, capital punishment is cannot be incorporated into domestic law.

Persistent evils of witchcraft: Although witchcraft is outlawed, such practices can still be observed in the society. As per Nepal police, 45 cases of witchcraft and torture were registered at respective district court in several parts of the country in the fiscal year 2018-19. Likewise, 34 cases in the year 2019-20 and 13 cases until September in the present fiscal year were reported. Despite stringent laws in place, this form of violence against women continued to exist.

Youth activists stage protest against Rape: Youth activists showed their discontent towards the escalating number of rape cases by demonstrating a flash mob in Maitighar Mandala on October 10. Youths raised voice against sexual violence against women through a song.

Strengthened efforts to curb sexual harassment: With the increasing number of sexual harassment cases, particularly in public transports, police now have taken intensified measures against sexual harassment (Safety Pin operation). Reportedly, Metropolitan Police Office arrested 57 sexual harassment offenders including people involved in indecent acts since October 1.

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