Supreme Court of Nepal Takes Action to Protect Victims of Rape and Sexual Violence

By Danny Kaufman, Development & Communications Officer

We are thrilled to announce that on Thursday, February 4 2016, the Supreme Court of Nepal ordered the Nepali government to enact laws to protect rape victims and children born to them. The precedent-setting decision is a milestone in a country where nearly half of all women experience sexual or physical violence in their lifetime. Despite widespread prevalence, few options currently exist for women to pursue justice when they experience violence.

The announcement grew out of years of tireless activism by several women’s rights organizations throughout Nepal. In 2013, and with support from Urgent Action Fund, women’s rights organization WOREC Nepal launched a nationwide anti-rape campaign to raise awareness about sexual violence. The campaign mobilized thousands of women across the country and led to the creation of fast track courts, which provide prompt justice to victims and discourage violence against women. Click below to watch a video of the national anti-rape campaign:

As part of the campaign, WOREC along with other civil society organizations, filed a case with the Supreme Court in 2013 demanding that the country’s Supreme Court come out with a protection mechanism for survivors of sexual violence, especially rape.

Thousands of women’s rights activists have worked tirelessly to make this happen. This historic decision is a testament to the collective power of non-violent, women-led activism to make a real difference in the lives of millions of women and girls.