House endorses resolution against sexual violence

- BINOD GHIMIRE, Kathmandu

Aug 25, 2018-

The House of Representatives has unanimously passed a resolution motion for incorporating issues against rape and gender-based violence in school textbooks after lawmakers agreed to act for curbing criminal cases of rape and murder.

Twenty-nine lawmakers, led by Nepal Communist Party MP Binda Pandey, had registered the motion in the House last month. Endorsement of the resolution comes at a critical time when people across the country are demanding justice for 13-year-old Nirmala Panta, who was raped and murdered in Mahendranagar last month.

It took more than a month for the proposal to be tabled for approval since the government was not happy that Pandey registered it without consulting with it. Speaker Krishna Bahadur Mahara removed the motion from the agenda due to objection from Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli. Endorsement of the motion on Friday means that the government takes measures in reducing the number of rape and sexual assault cases, and incorporates the topics in the school curricula.

“Based on the provisions of the Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, awareness on the issue of gender-based violence and rape should be raised at the three levels of government and incorporated in school textbooks,” reads the motion. It also holds Parliament responsible for directing the government to compensate the victims immediately.

Presenting the motion in the House on Friday, Pandey said that cases of rape have increased at an unprecedented rate—at least three women become victims of rape every day. The actual number could be higher considering that many incidents of rape go unreported.

“We might have to consider chemically castrating such culprits,” Pandey told the House. The NCP leader also accused the government led by her party of not being serious about booking criminals convicted of such crimes. In addition to the 29 women lawmakers, cross-party male MPs also spoke for the motion.

Answering the queries of lawmakers, Minister for Women and Children Tham Maya Thapa said the government would leave no stone unturned to take stern action against anyone guilty of rape.

Pledging legal amendments to increase the sentence for the guilty, Thapa said the

government has initiated support for such victims at the local level.

Published: 25-08-2018 07:16

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