Hundreds of women including activists and journalists assembled in Nepal’s capital to call for an end to violence and discrimination against women and a proposed law that would restrict travel for many women under 40.
Under new proposals by the Department of Immigration, any Nepali woman under the age of 40 will need the permission of her guardian and her local government ward office before she can travel abroad alone. The proposals have been sent to the Home Ministry for approval and could come into force soon. The new proposed rule was announced at a time when the public is already enraged at the growing number of cases of violence against women.
Picture credit: Twitter/ @ajplus
Speaking to the press at the rally, the protesters call their agitation “a declaration of their right to justice from an establishment controlled by men who are insensitive towards women rights and dignity”. The demonstrators believe that the new proposals and rules deny women independence; forcing women into riskier, undocumented employment, increasing the danger of trafficking and abuse.
Government officials say the new change is to monitor the trend of people flying abroad on visit visas to work there, and save them from potential mistreatments. Speaking to the Kathmandu Post, a spokesperson from the Department of Immigration said, “Girls/women in this age group are at a higher risk of human trafficking and other abuses. The new rule is proposed for their protection from potential abuses and only apply to some geographies such as Africa and Gulf.”
*Lead image credit: Shutterstock. Picture for representational purposes only