Hamro Palo Advocates 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence

Since the beginning of 2020, the pandemic confined people inside their homes for safety but instead, it gave birth to a shadow pandemic, increasing the rate of violence against women.
“624 Cases Of Violence against Women And Girls (VAWG) committed during the lockdown, 61% Violence inside Home”, reports Women’s Rehabilitation Center (WOREC) in June. The rising numbers of violence against women and girls is the reason why 25 November, marked as International Day for Elimination of Violence against Women is important.

Every year activists all around the world call out VAWG from 25 November to 10 December. This year as well, people all over the world are raising their voice on this issue on the theme “Orange the World: Fund, Respond, Prevent, Collect!”

Hamro Palo, as an organization working with and for adolescent girls, feels it our responsibility to join our hands together with the activists around the world and fight against GBV. Therefore, we have a few activities lined up for the 16 days of activism against gender-based violence.

On 25 November, the first day of 16 days of activism, Hamro Palo is organizing a panel discussion on gender-based violence and on 10 December, we will be organizing a panel discussion on Human Rights to mark the last day of activism and International Human Rights Day.

Since the theme of 2020 is, “Orange the World: Fund, Respond, Prevent, Collect!” we have been working on several activities as per the theme:

Our fund directly goes to programs designed to cater the need and interest of adolescent girls and women. Even during pandemic, we have been funding our program that directly benefits girls. Besides our regular program and support, we are also providing mini grants to support ideas and initiatives of young women. For instance, in August, we created fund to support young women’s advocacy on issues that matter to women and girls through digital platforms, who are now leading advocacy projects covering different topics from mental health, violence against women, to sex education to adolescents.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in January and the lockdown in March in Nepal, we have been responding to the crisis through various initiatives. We understand women and girls, especially in rural set up, lack access to basic health facilities, and in some cases, they needed support for daily essentials. We organized food and health supplies support drives as an immediate support. We are making changes in our working methodology including program interventions to reach the girls with needed information and reference mechanism. One of the mediums we have chosen include radio program “Pariwartan ka Sworharu” (Voices of Change) to be aired every Tuesday evening from 6:30-7:00 pm. The objective is to connect with the adolescents through mass media although we had shelved our physical activities.
Further, we have designed COVID-19 response project to directly cater to the need of pregnant women and new mothers with an aim to decrease maternal mortality, which has increased due to the pandemic.

From 25 November- 09 December, we will be featuring men from different walks of life taking a pledge to prevent violence against women. And on 10 December, we will be compiling the photos into a video and sharing it in our social media outlet to show the allyship of men standing together with women in preventing GBV. Join us on our social media platforms.

Currently, we are conducting two researches to learn the situation of women and girls. We have partnered with local health posts in Sindhupalchowk district. The local Female Community Health Volunteers (FCHVs) are reaching out to women in assigned wards and collecting data of pregnant women and new mothers. We are also going back to the community and following up with the Her Turn program graduates and learn the effect of COVID-19 on girls.

Hence, Hamro Palo stands against any form of violence faced by women. We believe in taking action to stand with women and girls through various means such as panel discussion, photo pledge, Digital Advocacy, Radio Programs, and Impact Analysis in the 16 days of activism against gender-based violence.