Final survey report of ovaw 2017 by sajina karki and shreedeep rayamajhi
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Online Violence Against Women Survey Nepal, 2017
The Internet of today is not just limited within a commodity but has moreover created its own value and
interpretation according to its use and reach. It works within the dynamics of networks or devices where
it’s beyond the limitation of what we can see and imagine. It has become or adopted the form of
lifestyle where people have their own choices and preferences. In such context the limitation of equality
and gender divide is something that is represented in the same form where our societies practice our
own values and culture.
The Gender gap or the divide is much more vivid in lower economies with prominent indicators
showcasing a strong presence of various forms of abnormalities and wrong practice where women
empowerment and equal rights are questions of debate. The various forms of OVAW that are
happening are not just results of lack of awareness but in major cases due to the transcending lifestyle
of internet behavior and carelessness. In most case scenario women face OVAW not just because they
are unaware of the issues but because they are vulnerable in understanding their own rights and
VAW has been a burning issue for developed nation but for developing and least developed nation it has
emerged as a major hurdle against the human rights and equality issue. The root of the issue is not only
related to merely action or acts in-fact the VAW issues is related with basic core values and morality of
our society and how men look at women. Our society may have standardized the definition of equality
but when it comes to reality, women have been marginalized in every possible of being victim in various
forms of performing their roles and values. Their choice and preferences are conditioned in various ways
of giving the name of tradition and culture where their independence is a question of how equality has
been adopted in the best possible way of molding it into standardization.
These sub-standardized issues are the main reasons for VAW that characterizes as patriarchal mindset,
illiteracy, poverty, lack of awareness, women subordination to men etc. In whichever form or where it is,
VAW has been an issue to be talked and discussed which needs a more proactive solution of self-
awareness and self-reliance. It is a social problem that is culturally deep rooted in our society that
directly affects women empowerment and leadership.
Similarly, with the dynamics of internet, the OVAW is also upscaling the charts in identifying its issues.
The issues of OVAW may not be clear but it is currently engulfing the internet practice in the most
prominent way. These trends and absent values are not only practiced in view of lack of proper core
values but are materializing to be greater form of internet challenge.
Highlighting the major issues, Nepal internet penetration rate is estimated to be 21.9% which is majorly
focused in city areas only and the majority of the internet population is dominated by the males.
Because of the patriarchy society the use of internet and even the access rate is also controlled. The
mass migration of men and women outside the country has advantaged the families to use of
technology where in lapse of proper knowledge and core values people are bound to suffer the
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consequences. In absence of proper core values women in rural area are more vulnerable to OVAW
issues where most of the times the cases go unnoticed due to confusion and ignorance. With limited
surveys and data the OVAW cases in rural areas are simply rising creating more sad stories.
Basic Information of Nepal:
Total Population of Nepal 29,461,486
Information | Facts Nepal population is equivalent to 0.39% of
the total world population.
Nepal ranks number 48 in the list of
countries (and dependencies) by
The population density in Nepal is 204 per
Km2 (529 people per mi2).
The total land area is 143,350 Km2 (55,348
19.2 % of the population is urban
(5,634,780 people in 2017)
The median age in Nepal is 23.6 years.
Internet Penetration Rate of Nepal 21.9%
The Human Development Report 2016, titled ‘Human Development for Everyone’, released by the United
Nations Development Programme (UNDP), has highlighted how ethnic minority status is associated with
lower capabilities and opportunities in the country. “The highest inequalities are in education, and this
may have pronounced long-term effects on capabilities later in life”
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Information about the Research
Date of Research 24/11/2017 to 22/12/2017
Social Media Platform Used Facebook /Google Plus /Twitter/LinkedIn
Survey form Google docs
Target Group Internet users and Professionals
Survey type Questionnaire
Participation number 40 Participants
The survey was done using google doc application sending invitation to the more than 300 participants.
Various links were set up on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and LinkedIn for
inviting people for the participation.
During this survey the participants were asked various questions in terms of OVAW, their encounters
and action against OVAW, women’s rights, social media trend, social indicator and user behavior.
The selection of participants has been random including invitations sent and shared. Participants from
various fields and sectors have contributed in voicing the current problems and suggestion of what they
have faced and what should be done.
The basic objective of this research is to segregate the common knowledge and practice of OVAW
among the normal public. Though there are various campaigns that are running around but there has
been very less work done in terms of understanding the knowledge and acceptability of OVAW and its
cognitive process. This research deals with the basic objective of understanding the capacity of normal
person in terms of their knowledge and action against OVAW. The objective can be listed in following
Finding the basic knowledge about OVAW
Effectiveness of information flow
Local action mechanism and repercussions
Local assumption and practices regarding OVAW
Problems and issues of OVAW
General trend in understanding the behavior against OVAW
Social indicators for OVAW
New perspective and ideologies
Social media trend
Youth concepts and practices
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This survey was done with the motive of understanding the current internet behavior and interpretation
of internet values in internet users of Nepal where internet has been a major challenges for access,
gender, quality and cost. It is evident that our societies are still struggling with the idea of equality and
the statistics speaks that 1 out of every 3 women or a girl faces VAW cases online or offline which shows
the intensity and lack of action mechanism against the issue. The issue showcases a situation of concern
in developing and least developed nations where the level of knowledge and awareness is limited and
the capacity of understanding equality and its practices are marginalized in various form of acceptance.
Women of various age groups are bound to face the consequences where government and authorities
shadow down in absence of proper definition and interpretation. OVAW is a majorly a new subject
which differentiates variably in its occurrence and has various range of consequences depending upon
the case and issue. Online harassment, revenge porn, hate speech, trolling, Identity theft, cyber bulling,
hacking, cyber frauds etc. are some of the examples of OVAW where women are facing problems in
everyday life. Highlighting the gender gap, the various groups like LGBTQI are more specifically targeted
in a more alarming way in absences of concrete interventions and definition. These groups have been
diluted in view of their rights where at times authorities and monitoring mechanism simple generalizes
them in addressing their problems and issues.
The survey reflects the current trend of OVAW being highly influenced by lack of awareness and core
values where majorly OVAW cases are occurring due to ignorance and carelessness. A majority of the
participants expressed their comfort about understanding the issues of OVAW but they also
acknowledged about the problem of identifying the various OVAW indicators. There seems to be lack of
awareness about the definition and interpretation of OVAW and internet core values.
Many of the participants have focused that though it’s easy to speak and talk about OVAW issues but
most of the times the OVAW cases get unnoticed due to lack of knowledge and hesitation with lengthy
action mechanism. Similarly, OVAW cases are followed in specific trends and pattern where people
unknowingly do it in absence of not knowing the relative truth behind their action.
The survey also highlights the major need of grassroots level interventions at the school level with focus
on social media and various other communication channel. OVAW issues need to be prioritized and
identified in a more prominent and focused way where it can be normalized and further can be part of
the communication process. This will not only help the women to identify the problem but will also help
to acknowledge it in a more efficient way. Likewise, a majority of respondents highlighted that the open
and privacy free social media trend has been a nuisance where women feel more vulnerable to fake
accounts, trolling and hate speech.
Especially, looking at the current interventions there seems to be limited awareness about the process
of how to deal with OVAW issues which needs more focused campaigns by government and other
concerned authorities. Right to anonymity and other facilitating tools should be integrated in
safeguarding the identity and rights of women. Regarding the major challenge of women online, the
respondents have high concerns regarding the patriarchal society and gender gaps where still todays
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women independence are subjected to limitation of male domination. Likewise, few of the LGBTQI
participants expressed how they face issues of social nuisance in regards to their identity. They also
expressed that at times of need when they go for reporting against the OVAW cases they feel more
harassed and dominated with the investigation process and the overall assumption, labelling and
generalized concept of seeing their community simply makes them more vulnerable where equality and
rights are just words limited in book.
Policy lobbying and setting standards are relative issues of concern where there seems to be very less
work being done. More research and survey needs to be done in identifying and understanding the
indicators and proper mechanism with zero tolerance policies needs to be set in for enactment.
As a priority in policy and as the main issues of women equality and empowerment. The limited
resources and awareness programs that are running can be an eye opener but for solution more
aggressive and action oriented campaigns needs to be designed and focused. The problem is not
whether we want to make a secure environment but the problem is with the acceptance of the core
values of equality and humanity where our society is struggling in being bias towards certain gender and
The problem needs a more dynamic approach in terms of communication and media strategy that needs
to further research and exploration.
The recommendation are listed below
1. The campaigners of OVAW need to further evaluate their campaigns and target specific areas
and core values
2. An open discussion on issues of OVAW needs to launched at School, colleges and public forum
3. Effective monitoring mechanism and Counselling call center must be opened
4. Simplication of reporting OVAW cases
5. Gender gap and issues related to LGBTQ needs to be addressed
6. More focused research and surveys are required
7. More awareness training for policing mechanism
8. No tolerance in terms of policy and action mechanism is needed
9. Women are unaware of their basic rights so more focus needed in that segment
10. Effective policing and immediate action mechanism should be set-up
11. Social media intervention is highly recommended
12. Special awareness packages for Men is needed
13. Cyber policy in terms of online VAW needed
14. Proper sex education with gender equality knowledge recommended
15. Collaborative efforts needed from all side
16. Communication media intervention in these topics
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Information about the Researcher
Adv. Sajina Karki
[Disclaimer: The suggestions and remarks in this research paper are based on personal
research experience. Research practices and approaches vary. Exercise your own judgment
regarding the suitability of the content.]