KATHMANDU, March 10: Unilever Nepal Limited (UNL) has launched a new campaign called "#UNMUTE, End the Silence on Domestic Violence" coinciding with the International Women’s Day, 2021.
The UNL also pledged to not only create a safer community at work, but also try to be one of the voices of change for Nepal.
"Through its campaign #UNMUTE, End the Silence on Domestic Violence, UNL is committed to speak up against violence and support not only its employees but also their families with education, awareness, and resources around safety," reads a press release issued by the UNL.
The campaign aims at reaching women across its ecosystem and educating them on their rights as well as providing access to resources like a toll-free helpline, providing counselling and access to NGO services, access to ‘safe leave’ and flexible working conditions for the survivors.
The UNL has also framed a Domestic Violence & Abuse Policy to protect and support its employees from domestic abuse. This extends the scope of employee well-being beyond work - that is, the office to his/her personal life and home, according to the press release.
The stand on domestic violence from Unilever Nepal comes at a time when a significant number of its staff are working from home. Domestic abuse thrives in secrecy and creating an environment where people can disclose their experience without stigma is what the policy seeks to do.
Meanwhile, the UNL organized a virtual panel discussion aligned with the campaign #UNMUTE. Addressing the panel discussion, UNL's Managing Director Amlan Mukherjee said that domestic violence can be curbed throughout the world if there is a collective effort.
He explained how important it is to stand up as volunteers if we want to see the change. He also stressed the need for bringing change in every individual, family and society. He expressed hope that the campaign #UNMUTE encourages survivors and allies to break this cycle of abuse and speak up.
Social activist Anuradha Koirala said that there is a lot of domestic violence around the world. "Everyone should realize that there are cases of domestic abuse," she said.
She stressed the need for creating a safer community. Koirala highlighted the need for the children to be made aware of sensitive issues and respect everybody irrespective of their gender as domestic violence is not limited to women.
On the occasion, Manju Gyawali, a practicing lawyer said that one needs to break one’s silence and create enough circumstantial evidence to establish the truth and make sure justice prevails. She assured that necessary stringent legal provisions are already in place to help the victims who decide to speak out.