KATHMANDU, Mar 2: Lawmakers on Sunday urged the government to launch a special campaign to stand against certain ill practices in Nepali society such as witchcraft, social problems like dowry system, and criminal activities such as acid attacks.
Participating in a discussion on a motion of urgent public importance, the lawmakers also demanded that the government take a stringent action against those who are involved in such inhumane activities.
Earlier, lawmaker Binda Pandey registered the motion of urgent public importance calling for a dedicated campaign to eliminate such ill practices and bring to book the perpetrators.
While registering the motion, Pandey stated that a total of 13 women have lost their lives in the name of dowry although it has been termed as a criminal offense. "Moreover, more than 300 women have become victim of abuse and violence which is an apparent mockery to the legal provision that no one shall be subjected to any kind of exploitation and violence," said she adding that the law also advocates legal action against the guilty and compensation to the victim.
Taking an example of Province 2's campaign 'Save girls, educate girls (Beti Bachau, Beti Padhau)', she stressed the need for similar programs in other provinces so as to ensure safety and security of each and every girl. "Such programs should reach every local unit."
She also stressed the need for eliminating the dowry system and ensuring equal rights of women over property through effective implementation of the existing laws."The sale of acid should be strictly regulated and harsher punishment to those selling and distributing it is a must to check such incidents against women," she said adding that the attackers should be sentenced life imprisonment. At the same time, the state should be fully responsible for the survivor's treatment and ensuring compensation, she observed. Reminding the aspiration of the government 'Prosperous Nepal, Happy Nepali', she argued that minimizing violence against women will help achieve this goal. Another lawmaker Nawaraj Silwal seconded the motion while expressing concern over the weak implementation of the existing laws. "Formulating laws is not everything, however, their strict implementation and effective monitoring is crucial," he added. Taking action against the culprits rarely ensures justice, rather the state should be responsible for rehabilitating the victims, according to him.
Lawmaker Sarita Giri demanded that the government launch a campaign focusing on education for girls instead of dowry. She also highlighted the need for education insurance to the girls and free education to them so that they become self-reliant despite economic constraints. "Sale of acid is to be limited to the licensed persons and the records of acid buyers should be kept up to date."
MP Krishna Bhakta Pokharel, on the other hand, opined that faulty social norms and values have posed a great challenge to the safety of women. Similarly, Dila Sangraula expressed her serious concern over the 'Nepali tendency of raising the issues of women violence around some particular days' including International Women's Day. Parbata DC Chaudhary, however, opined that campaigning against these ill practices should be initiated at the grassroots instead of making a hue and cry. Stating that these malpractices can not be rooted out through some normal programs, MP Satya Pahadi said that a special strategy should be formulated for the same.