A sixteen-day activism on violence against women started from Saturday with the theme 16 Years of 16 Days Advance Human Rights and Violence against Women around the world.The campaign is organised every year to fight violence against the women and this year the activism has focused on women?s involvement in every peace building process and has asked to the government to ratify the optional protocol of CEDAW convention.
Speaking at the programme organised by National Network against Gender Violence, a network of organisations working against violence against women, Saturday Minister of State for Women, Children and Social Welfare Urmila Aryal said the ministry had been advocating and lobbing for making laws protecting the rights of women.
She said that the ministry had also been lobbing with different ministries and inducing other ministries to work for the rights of women. She added that the cabinet had already passed women?s bill and it would come into implementation after it is passed by the parliament.?The ministry has been working against trafficking of women and on citizenship certificate, domestic violence, sexual harassment and other different kinds of issues related to violence against women.The network organised a rally today from Birendra International Convention Centre to Mandala of Maitighar to create awareness about the campaign and pressure the government to work on the violence against women.
Advocate and president of Forum for Women, Law and Development Sapana Pradhan Malla said that the campaign was an advocacy campaign to make the state accountable on the issue and to put pressure on the United Nations to give more attention about the issue.Malla said that there were different forms of violence against women and this time there should be focused on conflict, where the main sufferers were women.
She said that Nepal was yet to ratify the Optional Protocol on CEDAW. The Optional Protocol should be ratified if womens rights are to be protected, said Malla.
President of Sancharika Samuha Babita Basnet said violence against men could not be ended without active involvement and participation of men. She said that when the country enters into the new system the issue of violation of women?s rights should be looked with new approach.
The activism had started in Nepal from 1997. The campaign had first started from Latin America in 1981. The campaign brought to the forth the different kinds of violence against women. The UN General Assembly passed the 16-day activism in 1999 and after that all member countries started observing the activism.The network also presented a memorandum to Minister Aryal.