‘1 in 7 suffered abuse in the past 12 months’One in seven women in Nepal experienced physical or sexual violence from their intimate partner in the past 12 months, a UN report shows.
One in seven women in Nepal experienced physical or sexual violence from their intimate partner in the past 12 months, a UN report shows.
The report prepared by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has put Nepal third in South Asia with 14 percent Nepali women reporting experience of physical or sexual violence or both by an intimate partner in the last one year.
The Maldives and Bhutan fare slightly better, with 6 and 13 percent respectively of their women population stating they have suffered violence by intimate partners.
Intimate partner violence is described as behaviours in an intimate relationship that cause physical, sexual or psychological harm, including physical aggression, sexual coercion, psychological abuse and controlling behaviours.
While Sri Lanka is ranked fourth 14 with 18 percent women having reported they had experienced either physical or sexual violence or both by an intimate partner in the last 12 months, India and Bhutan are at the bottom. Figures of Afghanistan and Pakistan were not provided in the report.
The report was made adopting the Demographic and Health Survey with domestic violence module methodology.
In the context of Nepal, the survey was carried out among women aged between 15 to 49 in 11,490 households across the country.
“Intimate partner violence usually consists of a pattern of assaultive and coercive behaviours, including physical, sexual and psychological attacks as well as economic coercion, by a current or former intimate partner,” reads the report. Women rights defenders state unequal gender power sharing in the society is the root cause of violence against women.
“Gender discrimination and unequal power relationships between women and men as a result of deep-rooted patriarchal norms drive violence against women,” said Durga Sob, president of Sankalpa, an alliance of organisations working in the field of women rights.
In Asia-Pacific, surveys have indicated that between 15 percent and 68 percent of women have experienced physical or sexual violence, at the hands of an intimate partner, across different countries. While the extent of different forms of violence against women varies across countries, violence against women occurs in every society, at all levels of development, and happens to women of all status and backgrounds.
In the context of Asia Pacific region, Japan has the best figures with only four percent women reporting of violence by intimate partner.
Violence can negatively affect women’s physical, mental, sexual and reproductive health, and may increase their vulnerability to HIV, warn experts.
Similarly, various studies carried out across the globe have revealed that it has hampered the GDP, increased rates of infant and child mortality and morbidity, and make women unable to sustain their work and earn wages.