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Why National Campaign against Rape?
Recent nationwide increase in cases of rape has been a serious concern. The data from WOREC Nepal during the last three months reports (Baisakh to Asar 2070),149 cases of rape and 14 cases of attempted rape on women . Most of the survivors are dalit, poor, single women or young girls.
The people’s movement of 62/63 aimed for justice, equality and self-dignity of every Nepali. However, the lack of effective laws and impunity clearly show the bitter truth that our country is not heading toward that direction. Lack of access to justice-socially and legally to the survivors has compounded the situation.
Existing law against rape is discriminatory. The existing provisions under the law give a message that raping certain age and group of women is less punishable than other. According to present law, if a person rapes a girl child of less than 10 years the sentence is 10 to 15 years of custody, 14 to 16 years is 8 to 12 years custody, 16 to 20 years is 5 to 8 years of custody and the provision of punishment for raping a woman above 20 years age is 5 to 7 years custody. Although this is not explicit these provisions accepts rape and make rape against women above 20 more acceptable and less punishable. This is totally against human right norms and principles. Similarly, the 35 days limitation for reporting cases of rape is infringing on women's right to get justice. This situation makes it difficult for women to seek justice. Similarly, the lengthy and complicated court proceedings add further complication to the process. This situation has fostered culture of impunity and boosted the moral of perpetrator to complacently continue the crime. The condition is unbearable and demands immediate action from every concerned citizen and institutions of the country to come forward and act together to end and transform the situation of violence for creating a sustainable to peace in the country.
Focusing on the situation, in leadership and coordination of National Alliance of Women Human Rights Defenders (NAWHRD) National campaign against rape will be launched on 22nd of November 2013; this campaign will start from International peace day and end on International human right day-December 10th. This campaign thrives to make the linkages of human rights and peace clear and reinforce that without addressing human rights of women who are 51 percent of population, achieving human rights for all and creating sustainable peace is impossible. We appeal all stakeholders, individuals, activists, academics, media and people who believe in human right, social justice and peace to be part of the National campaign.