Violence Against Women

Nepal has an estimated population of 20 million of which 50.1% are female with about 39% of total literate population. The existing literacy rate of male and female population  varies and thus are 54 and 25 percent respectively. About 46% of the population lives in the Hills, 46% in the Terai and 8% in the Mountains.  Approximately, 90% of the population dwells in rural area and are primarily dependent on subsistence agriculture. 70% of the total population lives in absolute poverty .

Nepal is a patriarchal society. Women and girls are manifestly subjected to discrimination and exploitation of various forms. The gender-based discrimination as such originates at home, and has been institutionalized as a culture. The law does not oblige the parents to provide good care, maintenance and education of the girl children. For instance, Clause 10 of the Chapter on Partition of Property in the New Muluki Ain  (New Code of the Country) obliges the father to take good care and maintenance of son and wife only but not the same obligation to the daughters. Girl children are thus engaged in family labor from early childhood. A survey study conducted in 26 districts of Nepal discovered a higher rate of female child labor resulted out of discriminatory treatment within the family and thus are deprived of opportunity to education and development. This tendency has consequently been giving rise to discrimination of many kinds in further stages of life. The discrimination in education is evident from the  Census Report of 1991, which shows that only 38.33% of girls, aged between 6-14 years, have access to education compared to 61.66% of the boys .  Such discrimination has root cause on the defective value system of Nepalese society which is being carried on as a socio-cultural legacy. The same defective value system also provides the source for various other forms of violence against women and children.



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