Customs trump law on issue of gender equality

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Feb 24, 2019-

Women’s rights activists and leaders have pointed out that women across the country are still facing various gender-related problems despite the promulgation of strict laws for their protection.

The existing law has made ill practices such as chhaupadi, dowry and witchcrafts illegal, but the poor implementation of these laws have made women vulnerable to violence and discriminations, said activists.

“Our country has strict laws for the protection of women’s rights, but the lack of implementation of these laws means women still have to suffer,” said Ram Prasad Subedi, secretary general at the NGO Federation of Nepal.

Even the high-level government officials have admitted that the lack of implementation of these laws has supported the prevalence of ill-practices against women.

Speaking at the launching event of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) report, Minister for Women, Children and Senior Citizen Tham Maya Thapa said that the existing social norms and traditions have been a major obstacle in ending problems related to women.

The report, however, was not revealed citing that it is to be first made public in the 63rd session of the Commission on the Status of Women. The event will start from March 11 to 23 in New York. “People have started to voice the need for women empowerment and equality in Nepal, and the government has also been supporting it. It will take time to ensure gender equality in every family and community,” said Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Health and Population Upendra Yadav.

The government vows to implement the laws strictly and end discrimination against women.

“We have made laws for the protection of women and we are implementing it as well, but there are many obstacles. We will continue our work to end gender related ill-practices,” said Thapa.

“We will also be looking for some suggestion from the world when we present the report.”

Beyond Beijing Committee, an organisation advocating for women empowerment, had conducted consultation programmes in all seven provinces and collected information on women’s problems, which they have compiled in the CEDAW report.

“Problems of women across the country have been compiled in the report which will be presented in the 63rd session by our country representatives. We are hoping for some stern steps by our government to end gender-based discriminations,” said Shanta Laxmi Shrestha, chairperson of Beyond Beijing Committee. (PR)

Published: 24-02-2019 10:28

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