Maya BK, 21, was gang raped on June 27, 2019 by her boss and his friends. She belonged to the underprivileged Dalit community from Dhangadi. Her only crime was that she rejected proposal for sex from her boss. The men are still under-investigation. Her culprits had made the incident look like a suicide.

Nirmala Pant, 13, was found dead on July 27, 2018. It was later revealed that she was murdered after being raped. Her perpetrators are still at large.

Muskan Khatun, 15, survived an acid attack by three teenagers on September 6, 2019. Her only crime: rejecting the love proposal from one of the three attackers.

Sunita Yadav of Birgunj was beaten and burnt with a hot iron by her doctor husband Sachitananda Yadav for not bringing enough dowry. She breathed her last on March 29, 2019 while undergoing treatment at Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital.

These are only a few cases in point that depict the grim reality of violence faced by women in our country. We may never hear of other hundreds who suffer in silence every day.

Today, we celebrate International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. As we ponder on the topic, women across the globe are enduring violence, inequality and prejudices with each passing minute.

A report by ReliefWeb released on October 4, 2019 states, “While certain cases may still be under investigation, this report reminds the Government of Nepal on its obligations under international law to ensure access to justice for victims, stand for the victims’ rights and send a zero-tolerance message to combat gender-based violence.”

“The undersigned are particularly concerned about the reported impunity for the perpetrators of sexual violence and violence against women, as also stated by the Special Rapporteur on violence against women. Cases such as Nirmala Pant and Maya BK demonstrate the challenges victims and their families face in seeking justice. International standards and Nepal’s obligations under international law, as indicated in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, require the Government of Nepal to conduct a prompt, thorough and impartial investigation into allegations.

ReliefWeb is a specialized digital service of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).