Nepal | VSO International
The One Community One Family project addresses factors related to migration in Nepal including the changing roles and identities of men and women in migrant communities that are seen to be driving a rise in VAWG. The project will provide migrant women with livelihood training and link them to microfinance institutions, and will work with the wider community to provide counseling, access to support services, and drive local advocacy activities.
Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a significant and pervasive health and human rights issue for women around the world; one in three women experience physical and/or sexual violence at the hands of a partner within their lifetime. A similar proportion of women is affected in Nepal.1-3 Nationally, 11.2% of women who have ever been married report having experienced physical and/or sexual violence in the past 12 months. In rural Nepal, where gendered norms around dominance, aggression and sexual rights of husbands over their wives are entrenched; over half of young married women report violence from an intimate partner in their lifetime.4
The Change study took place in the Terai region which has rates of IPV that are higher than the national average.5 Approximately one quarter of the 1,800 women surveyed in the Change baseline study had experienced IPV in the past 12 months, with 18% reporting sexual IPV and 16% reporting physical IPV.
Violence against women and girls (VAWG) is driven in part by gender attitudes, norms on gender inequality and the acceptability of violence, which are socially reproduced and shared. Women’s rights organizations across the global south have dedicated themselves to challenging these. Early evaluations of work they have championed has shown that sufficiently equipped community volunteers, guided in a long-term structured programme, can enable widespread diffusion of new ideas on gender and VAWG and ultimately achieve changes in harmful attitudes and norms across communities.
DFID’s What Works to Prevent Violence against Women and Girls Global Programme (What Works) has generated new evidence on the effect of these interventions in a range of settings – from rural areas and small towns of the Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Ghana, Rwanda, Nepal, to urban informal settlements in South Africa. Rigorous evaluations have shown the potential for preventing VAWG through multi-year, intensive change interventions with welltrained and supported community action teams, that purposefully engage both women and men to effect change.
McGhee, S., Shrestha, B., Ferguson, G., Shrestha, P. N., Bergenfeld, I., & Clark, C. J. (2019). “Change Really Does Need to Start From Home”: Impact of an Intimate Partner Violence Prevention Strategy Among Married Couples in Nepal. Journal of interpersonal violence, 0886260519839422.
Nepali women and girls are vulnerable to violence at the hands of their husbands and in-laws. The key drivers of women’s vulnerability to violence against women and girls (VAWG) in the migrant communities of Nepal include gender inequitable norms, the lower position of young married women in the family, poor spousal and in-law relations, and poverty. In this context, working with the family has great potential to reduce violence and improve the conditions of women and girls.
Gupta, J., Cardoso, L. F., Ferguson, G., Shrestha, B., Shrestha, P. N., Harris, C., ... & Clark, C. J. (2018). Disability status, intimate partner violence and perceived social support among married women in three districts of the Terai region of Nepal. BMJ Global Health, 3(5), e000934.
Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a significant public health issue that affects 1 in 3 women globally. Despite these numbers, little is known about what can be done in communities to prevent it.
Change Starts at Home was created to address this. Focused on an innovative radio program and weekly (listening and discussion) group meetings, the Change Starts at Home approach uses media and peer to peer support to address social norms, attitudes, and behaviors that perpetuate and support intimate partner violence.
The BIG (B: Begin to Question, I: Impart Life Skills and G: Go!) Change curriculum was developed for the facilitators of the Listening and Discussion Groups (LDGs), and is designed to support them to facilitate weekly sessions with group members. By following each week of the curriculum, facilitators will be able to guide group members through a planned approach of listening, discussion, activities, reflection and home-based tasks on weekly basis.
The curriculum is divided in three different phases, B: Begin to Question, the Critical Reflection Phase, I: Impart Life Skills; the Skill Building Phase, and G: Go! The Action and Community Diffusion Phase.
Sammanit Jeevan for Teens is designed to develop teenagers’ communication skills, to support their understanding of gender norms and to improve their relationships with parents, friends and other relatives. The workshop series consists of eight sessions which will help teenagers to understand the gender norms that exist in their community and family and improve their communications skills. It will provide them with information about their sexual and reproductive health and help them develop their future goals and ways to achieve these, including improving future career prospects. (Also available in Nepali)
Sammanit Jeevan – EE & IGA Support Manual for Economic Empowerment and Income Generating Activity Support is a workshop series designed to promote families’ understanding of financial management of household budgets and strengthen household economies. Sammanit Jeevan – EE & IGA Support is a complementary manual to the Sammanit Jeevan – EE & IGA Support intervention designed to promote gender equity and harmonious partner and families’ relationships and reduce violence against women and girls in Nepal. (Also available in Nepali)