Interactive workshop on combatting gender-based violence
Posted: 15 December 2023
The Australia Awards Women in Leadership Network (WiLN) – Nepal, in collaboration with the Beyond Beijing Committee (BBC) Nepal, organised an interactive workshop on ‘Combatting gender-based violence’ on 8 December in Kathmandu. The workshop brought approximately 50 women leaders together, including Australia Awards alums, government representatives, BBC executive members, advocates, and academics to ignite a discussion on this year’s theme for the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence: UNITE! Invest to prevent violence against women and girls.
Facilitated by Australia Awards alum and WiLN member Dr Laxmi Tamang, the workshop showcased an expert presentation by Inclusive Development Researcher Dr Meeta Sainju Pradhan. She shared key findings from several studies on gender-based violence in Nepal. Gender-based violence is a pressing issue in Nepal, with one in five women aged 15-49 having experienced physical violence. Following the presentation, the participants discussed what they could do about this grave situation as individuals and as members of their families and professional networks.
Amongst the ideas shared by the participants were educating family members to respect women and girls, raising awareness on legal provisions against gender-based violence, supporting women’s economic empowerment and participating in dialogue and discussion—even though they comprise difficult conversations—and engaging male allies as much as possible.
Kavitha Kasynathan, Head of Development at the Australian Embassy in Nepal, joined the participants and encouraged them to contribute to ending gender-based violence to the best of their ability.
Attendees described the event as ‘insightful, ‘thought-provoking’ and ‘impactful’. Reflecting on the program, one participant shared that the discussion was very engaging and it was eye-opening to hear so many stories of gender-based violence. From the discussion she had learnt that “we need to work a lot to change the mindset to end gender-based violence.” Similarly, another participant shared that the event reminded her to, “try my best to minimise gender-based violence at a personal, social and institutional level.”
The Australia Awards Women in Leadership Network, a community of practice of senior women alums, carries out a range of activities on gender equality and professional development for its members. It also organises public events to mark international days of significance and campaigns, such as the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, to show solidarity and contribute to the cause. The Beyond Beijing Committee is a Nepali feminist network and human rights organisation committed to achieving gender equality, women’s rights, sustainable peace and development.