The experiences of women, especially those who suffered sexual violence, have not been fully acknowledged as part of the history of Nepal's armed conflict from 1996 to 2006. Too often women survivors and victims are silenced, discredited, or punished when they do come forward to share their experience of sexual violence and seek justice. Very few cases of conflict-related sexual violence have been documented and reported to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. This raise concerns that many survivors and victims have not yet broken the silence.
The event was organized on 22 March by UN Women with support from the United Nations Resident Coordinator Office under the One UN banner with the objective to strengthen the support and advocacy on the truth-telling process in Nepal. The event supported by the Government of Finland and the European Union is a part of continued efforts to strengthen the voice and agency of women survivors and victims of conflict-related sexual violence to demand accountability and access to justice.
Digital stories developed and produced by the women themselves to share the sexual violence experienced were screened when the digital platform hosting them was launched at the event by the Minister, MoWCSC. Building on the tempo, a powerful theatrical performance and an art exhibition based on the stories of the survivors and victims were staged to activate awareness about what we as individuals and members of society can do in the creation of an enabling environment for truth, justice, dignity and reparations.
Prominent dignitaries who spoke during the event included the Minister for Women, Children and Senior Citizen; Chairperson of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission; Chairperson of the Commission of Investigation on Enforced Disappeared Persons; Member and Spokesperson of National Human Rights Commission; UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative; and the Vice Chairperson of Conflict Victims’ Common Platform. Over 189 representatives from the Nepal government, development partners, civil society organizations, women’s groups, I/NGOs and the media actively participated in the event.