Although the Peace Agreements of 2006 ended the decade-long official armed conflict between the Maoists, the government and monarchy, and the popular pro-democracy uprising in Nepal, violence has continued to escalate with over one hundred armed groups still operating in the country. Over the course of a few days in March of 2011, three explosions occurred within three different districts. One of these occurred in the Terai region of Nepal when a microbus exploded, severely injuring the passengers inside. Recognizing that women are disproportionately affected by armed violence, Women Development Society (WODES) saw a unique opportunity to address the issue in their region immediately after the explosion. WODES requested funds to begin an awareness-raising campaign on the impacts of the conflict on women, and planned a series of workshops to bring together women’s groups to discuss the violence in Terai and build a network to take a stand against armed violence. WODES also planned to meet with officials from the government and civil society groups to discuss peace strategies and initiate dialogue with the armed forces.
WODES works to promote women’s rights and to create a society that is just, peaceful, and encompasses gender equality.