KATHMANDU, Nov 25: Various programs are being organized today in different parts of the country to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, which falls on November 25 every year.
The day is being observed in Nepal under the theme 'We don't accept gender-based violence and abuse' and by organizing various programs. November 25 has been designated as the International Day for Elimination of VAW by the United Nations.
Coinciding with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, an annual 16-day campaign against gender-based violence has started in Nepal on Sunday morning.
On the first day of the campaign, civil society, the UN country team and other concerned stakeholders are organizing events in different parts of the country.
In their separate messages on the occasion of the campaign, President Bidya Devi Bhandari and Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli have stressed the elimination of all kinds of gender-based violence across the country.
In her message, President Bhandari has said that spreading education and awareness, and making women economic self-reliant and independent are essential to put an end to all forms of violence against women.
The president said that Nepali women continue to face violence, discrimination, and degradation due to harmful practices and superstition like witchcraft, Chhaupadi and dowry. She has also wished that this International Day against VAW motivates all at the society, state, and international level to work to prohibit and discourage VAW.
In his message, Prime Minister Oli has said Nepal has taken huge strides in the protection of women's rights while the government adopts a policy of zero tolerance against all forms of VAW.
"The government is determined to take action as per the law against anyone involved in the crime of VA," he has said in the message while expressing the confidence that effective enforcement of the civil and criminal codes would help end all kinds of violence against women.
Meanwhile, the United Nations Country Team of Nepal together with the Gender Equality and Social Inclusion Working Group of the International Development Partners’ Group, in partnership with the Provincial Assemblies, are organizing an awareness-raising event to kickstart the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence campaign.
“The oranging of seven Provincial Assembly buildings will take place on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, in all seven Provinces,” the UN Country Team said in a press statement. This year’s theme of the campaign is “Orange the World: #HearMeToo.
Speakers of the provincial assemblies along with representatives from UN agencies and development partners will deliver their remarks during the event. Following the event, the Provincial Assembly buildings will be lit up in orange, the official color of the UNiTE campaign, symbolizing hope and a country free of violence against women and girls, according to the UN country team statement. Representatives from civil society organizations and human rights defenders will also be attending the events in provincial assembly buildings.
What is 16-day campaign?
The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an international campaign which takes place each year. It begins on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to 10 December, Human Rights Day.
It was originated by activists at the first Women's Global Leadership Institute in 1991 and is coordinated each year by the Center for Women's Global Leadership. It is used as an organizing strategy by individuals and organizations around the world to call for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls. In support of this civil society initiative, under the leadership of the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, the United Nations Secretary-General’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women Campaign (UNiTE) calls for global action to increase awareness, galvanize advocacy efforts and share knowledge and innovations.
In recent years, the UNiTE campaign has utilized the color orange to represent a brighter future, free from violence against women and girls, as a unifying theme running through its global activities. In Nepal, the UN Country Team (UNCT) has marked the campaign during the past years, including ‘oranging’ of Patan Durbar Square (2016) and Lumbini (2017). (With inputs from RSS)