Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) committee has urged the government to prioritise adoption of legal provisions to fight discrimination against women.
The committee has sought a comprehensive programme including public education and awareness raising campaigns involving mass media as well as community and religious leaders to address multiple forms of discrimination.
Nepal had submitted the fourth and fifth periodic reports on CEDAW convention on July 2011. The Government was asked to submit its sixth periodic report to CEDAW in July 2015. Nepal ratified CEDAW Convention on April 1991 and Optional Protocol to CEDAW on June 2007.
Mohna Ansari, member at National Women's Commission said the committee was satisfied with the policies, programmes and plans of action to promote gender equity and eliminate discrimination against women. “The committee has recalled the obligation of the country to systematically and continuously implement all the provisions of the Convention,” she said.
The committee urged inclusion of the principle of equality between women and men and provisions prohibiting discrimination against women while drafting the new constitution. Addressing a programme, she said committee has asked the government to review and revise discriminatory legislation, including in the Interim Constitution as well as in the 2006 Gender Equity Act which revised the discriminatory provisions in areas of property, marital rape and age of marriage.
The committee urged the repeal of all discriminatory laws and provisions and to ensure that the new constitution does not contain any discriminatory provision. The committee showed concern about patriarchal attitudes and deep-rooted stereotypes that discriminated against women embedded in the social, cultural, religious, economic and political institutions and structure of Nepali society.
Although the committee appreciated the enactment of Domestic Violence Act 2009 and National Plan of Action on Gender Based Violence, it said that most of such incidents are undocumented and unaddressed.
It also showed concern about lack of data on violence against women, including sexual and domestic violence and the statute of limitation for registration of cases of sexual violence and the weak penalty for marital rape.
It urged the government to take steps to respond to issues like trafficking and exploitation, education, health, nationality and employment among others. It demanded thorough probe of sex abuse cases during armed conflict and the post-conflict period.