The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence campaign in Nepal

The Office, in partnership with various organizations, successfully organized the global campaign from 25 November to 10 December 2020. This year’s theme was “Orange the World: Fund, Respond, Prevent, Collect!”, the Office targeted both formal and informal sectors through the campaign.

The Zonta Club of Kathmandu organized the campaign in collaboration with ILO, Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI), International Organization for Migration (IOM), Kumari Bank Limited, Pourakhi Nepal and Royal Thai Embassy with the tag line “A World of Work Free from Violence and Harassment: A Right and An Obligation”.

The objectives of the campaign were to:
•    support the Government to implement The Sexual Harassment at the Workplace Prevention Act, 2015.
•    help organizations create a safe and harmonious work environment for women workers.
•    raise awareness among women working in the informal sector about their rights and provisions, and
•    raise awareness on violence against women and vulnerabilities faced by women migrant workers, including raising awareness on available support mechanisms.

The campaign included production and dissemination of stickers to raise awareness against workplace harassment, radio public service announcements targeting migrant workers, virtual panel discussions and virtual trainings on workplace harassment, and print and social media outreach of stories of women migrant workers.

16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence campaign    ©Zonta Club, Kathmandu  

25 November 2020

Virtual Inauguration of 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence campaign, 25 November   ©Zonta Club, Kathmandu
The campaign officially commenced with a virtual inauguration programme by unveiling 16 social media messages targeting the formal and informal sectors. Honourable Minister Lila Nath Shrestha, Ministry of Women, Children and Senior Citizen, inaugurated the programmme. Close to 170 participants including senior government officials from the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security, Ministry of Women, Children and Senior Citizen, bilateral organizations, non-governmental organizations and media colleagues attended the virtual inauguration. 

“Violence and harassment in the world of work is the antithesis of decent work. It is a threat to the dignity, health and well-being of those who experience it, and for their families. Addressing violence and harassment is imperative especially during COVID-19 as many frontline workers such as health workers are facing various kinds of violence and harassment. The Violence and Harassment Convention (No.190), and Violence and Harassment Recommendation (No.206), recognize the right of everyone to a world of work free from violence and harassment," said Richard Howard, Director of ILO Country Office for Nepal.

27 November 2020

Virtual Panel Session on "A World of Work Free from Violence and Harassment: A Right and An Obligation, 27 November ©Zonta Club, Kathmandu
A virtual panel discussion “A World of Work Free from Violence and Harassment: A Right and An Obligation” highlighted the existing provisions in place in case of violence and harassment at work. The discussion was moderated by Dyuti Baral, Head of Capacity Building Cell, South Asian Institute of Management (SAIM).

Aya Matsuura, Gender Specialist, ILO Decent Work Technical Team for South Asia and Country Office for India spoke on the ILO Convention Violence and Harassment, 2019 (No. 190) and Recommendation No. 206, workers’ right to a world of work free from violence and harassment including gender-based violence (GBV). She urged Nepal Government to ratify C190, and committed that ILO will continue to help partners develop policies, supporting materials and conduct training to ensure elimination of sexual harassment at workplace.

29 November 2020

© Zonta Club, Kathmandu
A webinar titled Behind Closed Doors: Unleashing the Truth of Domestic Violence during COVID-19 session was organized to bring awareness especially amongst the youth, and to find solutions to the increasing cases of violence against women amidst the COVID-19 crisis.

The pandemic has seen an alarming rise in the cases of violence against women and girls in Nepal – especially domestic violence. As staying home and limiting social activity is the primary preventive measure to curb the virus, vulnerable victims are trapped inside their homes with their perpetrators without access to safety and protection.

1 December 2020

©Zonta Club, Kathmandu
A virtual session Challenges and Opportunities of Reintegration for Returnee Women Migrants was organized in collaboration with Pourakhi Nepal.  Manju Gurung, Co-Founder and Strategic Advisor of Pourakhi Nepal highlighted the importance of economic and social empowerment of migrant workers to ensure their successful reintegration in the society. She also highlighted the need to understand the intersectionality while developing programmes.

Neha Choudhary, National Project Coordinator, ILO’s Integrated Programme on Fair Recruitment (FAIR) shared that a successful reintegration programme understands that migration is a gendered process, takes into account the female workers’ specific needs, and ensures that their voice is included in its formulation. It is equally important that they are not stigmatized in the process.

6 December 2020

©Zonta Club, Kathmandu
A virtual training for Human Resource personnel Champions for Change: Build a World of Work Free from Harassment was organized to build awareness amongst HR professionals, to guide them on the policy and the procedures of Government of Nepal and ILO, and to empower HR professionals in influencing organizational leaders while making the policies of the organization free from harassment.

The Sexual Harassment at Workplace Prevention Act, 2015 came into effect on February 2015. The Act provides protection to employees, and workers employed by the entities (including contract workers), as also to customers (and persons accompanying such customers) who may visit the workplace to seek such services. However, this Act has not been widely implemented.

10 December 2020

A visual display of ten safety messages for working women were showcased on the screen of the United World Trade, Kathmandu, marking the end of 16 days of campaign. The ten messages were selected from the 16 social media messages developed collaboratively by the partnering organizations.

The campaign concluded with a virtual meeting in collaboration with the partners; Richard Howard, Director, ILO Nepal, Shekhar Golchaa, President, FNCCI, Lorena Lando, Chief of Mission, IOM Nepal and Mr. Dipendra Sharma; Pourakhi Nepal along with the staff members of the organizations participated in the meeting.

Display of messages on the screen of the United World Trade Centre ©Zonta Club, Kathmandu