The exclusion and discrimination of women is deeply rooted in Nepal’s patriarchal society where men are considered superior in both public and private life. Across the country, cultural practices place girls and women in significant danger of violence and oppression. Examples include the imposition of high dowries, or chhaupadi (the expulsion of women from their homes during menstruation due to supposed impurity). With the new constitution in place, Nepal’s government is prioritising gender inequality more than ever before. But is it enough?
Since Saferworld began work in Nepal in 2009, gender has been at the heart of all our projects. In recent years in eastern Nepal, we pioneered research – using participatory learning and reflection methods – into established ideas of masculinity and young men’s attitudes to violence, in particular to sexual and gender-based violence. Challenges such as economic and political instability and migration were seen to contribute heavily to the ongoing problematic practice of violent masculinity.
In other work, we partnered with the Nepalese Police to produce media that showcases the effective and vital role of women police officers in public security. We also supported the development of the UN Nepal National Action Plan which focuses on women, peace and security. We assembled a gender sensitivity resource pack for civil society organisations at district and national levels.
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