Two weeks have passed since 25 April: the date that has stayed in Nepalis’ memory as one of the darkest days in our history. These past couple of weeks, I cannot help but be emotional thinking back to what we suffered five years ago. The unexpected earthquakes stuck Nepal killing over 9,000 people, destroying over $4 billion dollars’ worth in infrastructure, turning our proud heritage into rubbles and crippling the country in more ways than we can imagine. In that desperate time, as the numbers of dead continued to rise and the aftershocks terrorized us for weeks, we suffered as one nation. The pain was the same. And so was the hope.
Globally, International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women is celebrated every year on 25 November. On this occasion, the United Nations launched sixteen days of activism to advocate for gender equality and elimination of all forms of violence against women and girls. Statistically, Nepal falls at the bottom on gender equality index and more than one in five women have experienced some form (physical, mental, sexual) of violence in their lifetime.
International Women’s Day is being celebrated today throughout the country through various initiatives by the government, international development agencies, universities, schools and civil society organizations.