Study: Many women feel unsafe at homeA women’s safety audit conducted in six Tarai districts has revealed that 58 percent of women feel unsafe living in their own homes.
A women’s safety audit conducted in six Tarai districts has revealed that 58 percent of women feel unsafe living in their own homes.
The research conducted by Didi Bahini, an organisation working in the field of women rights, in partnership with UN Women further states that 78 percent women shared that there was not a single safe site around their neighbourhoods.
According to Reema Sharma, a grade eight student from Belodevipur VDC in Kailali, girls face harassment while going to school and also working around in the village. “We get teased by a group of boys on our way to school in the morning and sometimes they even block the way and stop our bicycle,” the 15-year old said.
She also recalled an incident when a two men had tried to grab her while she was collecting grass in a forest.
“A large number of women feel they are neither safe at home nor at public space. Apart from gender-friendly policies an extensive awareness programme is required to make the society responsive about this problem,” said Uma Thapa, communication officer of Women for Human Rights, Single Women Group.
Women safety audit is a process which allows participants (women) to identify safe and unsafe spaces and also dig out recommends from them on how the unsafe spaces can be improved.
The audit was conducted for over a year in one VDC each of Kailali, Kanchanpur, Banke, Bardiya, Bara and Parsa to assess the state of women’s safety in public places in the villages of Nepal. According to the study, 70 percent of the women who were interviewed stated morning and evening were the time when they felt most unsafe.
Similarly, a large number of women said that they felt unsafe and have been abused while travelling in public vehicles.
“There is a notion that urban areas are unsafe for women in comparison to villages but the study revealed that rural women too feel unsafe in and around their homes,” said Bhagirath Singh, one of the researchers.
The study also found that women were unaware about the services provided in their villages and also had no knowledge about the process of reporting cases of violence against them.