NEPAL - WOMEN FOR HUMAN RIGHTS - SINGLE WOMEN GROUP - WIDOWS
“There can be no woman’s empowerment without widow’s empowerment”. Women for Human Rights (WHR), a Non Governmental Organization established in 1994 operates with the same philosophy. WHR is a Single Women Group; registered with Kathmandu District Administration Office, Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare, Nepal Government and Social Welfare Council.
Women are discriminated in many aspects of life, from cultural traditions to laws and policies. Widows are amongst the most marginalized and discriminated of all women in Nepal. Since its foundation, WHR has been actively working to address the rights of single women (widows) in Nepal. This organization works exclusively with and for single women (widows) in Nepal as the fate of widows in Nepalese society is far worse than widows in many other parts of the world.
NEPAL - WIDOWS DISCRIMINATION CASE STUDIES
WIDOW FORCED TO HAVE SEXUAL RELATIONSHIP WITH FATHER-IN-LAW
Name: Radha shah
Cause of Husband's Death: Accident
Children Age: 5 years son
Six year ago Radha got married to Krishna from Saptari district in the traditional way and their life was full of love and happiness. In the family there was the mother-in-law, father-in-law and Krishna who earned money while Radha was the home maker. There was always plenty to go round and Radha�s in-laws loved her a lot. Days passed and Radha became pregnant and delivered a baby boy. After the birth of their child the love between Radha and her husband grew deeper. This couple always thought about how they would look after their son.
Very sadly in 2002 A.D. Radha�s husband died suddenly their her son was just six months old. After that Radha�s life turned in a different direction. The treatment from her in-laws changed and Radha was forced to work, not only in the house but also outside as a daily wage laborer.
Her father-in-law had his evil eye on her and she was forcibly sexually abused by him for five years. She was not able to talk about this as her father-in-law had threatened to kill her son if she told anyone. Although the other members of family knew, no-one had enough courage to speak out on her behalf.
In 2006 A.D., Women for Human Rights (WHR), single women group held capacity building training for single women (widows) in Saptari. Radha took part in this and became aware of the rights of single women. She explained her problems to the single women�s groups in Saptari after which they went to her home and spoke to her father-in-law. Of course, he said he did not accept this and told them he was not scared that they would go and complain about him.
The single women�s group organized a press conference and filed Radha�s case with the CDO, later her father-in-law accepted his misbehaver. She also filed a case for getting her share of her property. Radha�s case was shown on Nepal 1 Television in Asoj 2006 A.D.
Radha now lives alone with her 5 year old son.
Cause of Husband's Death: Accident
Children Age: 11 years old son
Sita got married to Ram in the year 1994 A.D. Sita was only 20 years old when she got married. Her life was filled with joy and happiness and she felt like she was the luckiest woman in the world. Sita lived with her husband, her mother in law, brother in law and his wife. Unfortunately, one day Ram died in an accident. This broke her heart and all her dreams. When Ram died, Sita was sucking her child who she says gave her the strength to live the rest of her life. As there was no one who worked in the family, Sita had to perform the entire household tasks.
She was forced by her brother in law to have illicit sexual relations with him. Sita was a single woman (widow) and she had no power in her own house after her husband's death. Her brother in law used to hit her son and warned that if she did not sleep with him then he would not give her little son food to eat. Every member in the family knew about this abuse but they remained silent. As Sita's brother in law was the only one who earned in the house, he holds the most power and no one dared to go against him. Sita's mother-in-law used to hate her, she even used to verbally abuse her and make her work like a servant.
Even after all this, Sita could not leave the house because she did not have anywhere to go. No one was alive in her parental house either. She was an uneducated woman and she did not know about her rights. Sita did not have any skill nor any resources to leave the house.
After a while single women members of WHR came to know about Sita's pathetic story and tried to talk with her mother in law .But she spoke very harshly with them that they will �spoil� her daughter in law like themselves were �spoiled�.
But the WHR members did not give up. They succeeded in enrolling Sita in a tailoring center for sewing course for 6 months. Now Sita has her own tailoring shop and is giving work to other single women like her.
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