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Nov 23, 2013
There is a popular proverb from H. G. Bohn’s, “Hand-Book of Proverbs,” (1855), “An idle brain is the devil’s workshop”. This proverb can be a metaphor to the increment of gender based violence (GBV) worldwide and mostly well recognized in the countries where unemployment rate is high. Moreover, if the rate is high and female empowerment is low, there are evidences that relates rise in GBV. There are domestic violence, murder for property, human trafficking, polygamy, rape, sexual abuse and harassment, forced pornography and many more cases. But what if these devil’s workshops get engaged to some other issue, mission or task that could cut off the rise in GBV? The current election fever in Nepal can be the answer.
After a long waiting, a constitution is about to be formed in Nepal. The election campaigns overcame even the brightness of major festivals like Dashain and Tihar. Majority of the youths all over the country were seen campaigning in favor of their respective parties and candidates through miking, rallies, door to door visits. Many are engaged counting votes, celebrating the victory and bargaining the loss. Whereas, people are occupied watching live updates about election and waiting for the final result to be announced no matter wherever they are. Now keeping all these situations aside, let us give a glance to recent reports on GBV in Nepal.
In Nepal, either in some corner or front page of every newspaper we find number of news on GBV cases daily. Also, according to the data mapping on GBV initiated by YUWA organization, it shows 2 to 3 GBV cases reported per day in average. But reviewing the data mapping reports of November, 2013, a dramatic decrement on GBV is seen, i.e. 1 GBV case in eight days. Similarly consulting “INSEConline”, which is the first human rights news portal in Nepal, GBV cases are hardly seen in the list during the month of election. This could be a bizarre hypothesis relating election and decrement in GBV. But it certainly can be interpreted as, if people are indulged to something or are mobilized, GBV somehow decreases. And yes, it directly points to the mobilization of youths.
Unemployment is regarded as one of the major risk factors of GBV. In Nepal, unemployment rate was 42% in 2004, whereas it increased to 46% in 2008 according to CIA World Factbook. Thus, higher the number of unemployed people, GBV will rise up. Further justifying this statement, human trafficking is an example which is one of the alternatives for the idle heads. And reminding the fact, human trafficking is still high in Nepal. This is indeed a serious problem. Therefore, the country should realize that it’s time for action in finding ways for mobilizing these idle heads to the right track, showing better alternatives rather than digging in for more justifications.