Nepal: Strengthening Systems to Protect and Uplift Women Project
Increasing incidence of gender-based violence. GBV remains a persistent problem in Nepal. As of 2016, 26% of women aged 15-49 years reported experiencing physical and other kinds of violence - an increase from 22% in 2011. In 2018-2019, 2230 cases of rape and 786 cases of attempt to rape were reported - a nearly four-fold increase since 2008. In the same year, a staggering 14,774 cases of domestic violence, 1001 cases of polygamy, 86 cases of child marriage, 211 cases of child sexual abuse, 258 cases of trafficking, and 46 cases of witchcraft allegations were reported. Moreover, GBV disproportionately affects those who face intersecting and multiple forms of discrimination. Women and girls from marginalized groups, and those with less education were more likely to report experiencing violence.
South Asia Department
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- Public sector management
|Project Name||Strengthening Systems to Protect and Uplift Women Project|
|Project Type / Modality of Assistance||Grant
|Source of Funding / Amount||
|Strategic Agendas||Environmentally sustainable growth
Inclusive economic growth
|Drivers of Change||Gender Equity and Mainstreaming
Governance and capacity development
|Sector / Subsector||
Public sector management / Social protection initiatives
|Gender Equity and Mainstreaming||Gender equity|
Increasing incidence of gender-based violence. GBV remains a persistent problem in Nepal. As of 2016, 26% of women aged 15-49 years reported experiencing physical and other kinds of violence - an increase from 22% in 2011. In 2018-2019, 2230 cases of rape and 786 cases of attempt to rape were reported - a nearly four-fold increase since 2008. In the same year, a staggering 14,774 cases of domestic violence, 1001 cases of polygamy, 86 cases of child marriage, 211 cases of child sexual abuse, 258 cases of trafficking, and 46 cases of witchcraft allegations were reported. Moreover, GBV disproportionately affects those who face intersecting and multiple forms of discrimination. Women and girls from marginalized groups, and those with less education were more likely to report experiencing violence. 9% of hill Brahmin women reported experiencing violence in 2016 while this figure was 44% among Madhesi Dalit women and 38% among Muslim women; 8% of those with secondary or higher education reported reportedly experienced violence compared to 34% of those without any education. Patriarchal attitudes, traditional and religious beliefs and deeply rooted gender-based stereotypes combined with greater economic dependency of women on men are key enablers of GBV.
Low reporting of GBV cases. Despite legal provisions that criminalize various forms of GBV, reporting of cases is low which perpetuates violence. Of the women who reported experiencing violence, 66% did not seek any help. Low reporting is attributable to multiple factors ranging from social tolerance of GBV, limited agency of women and girls, low awareness of existing legal provisions and services, and lack of adequate and accessible services for survivors. Discriminatory social and religious norms that espouse female subordination and male superiority and acceptance of violence as a symbol of masculinity encourage tolerance of GBV. Data from the 2016 National Demographic and Health Survey reveal that 33% of women and 23% of men believe that a husband is justified in beating his wife. Stigmatization of GBV and victim-blaming attitudes further dissuade survivors from reporting violence. Unequal power relations between men and women, and greater economic dependence of women and girls limit their agency which further perpetuates unreported violence; women do not have a fallback position and risk ostracism should they choose to report violence. Low awareness of existing services and legal provisions related to GBV also contribute to low reporting. For example, in a study of women from 15 districts in the country, less than one-third of respondents were aware of availability of free legal services for victims with financial difficulties while only 16% knew that court fees for such victims could be paid later.
Limited availability of adequate and survivor-centric services. While firmly rooted discriminatory norms and practices are key causes of GBV, lack of adequate and accessible services for survivors exacerbates the situation and abets low reporting. This further leads to increased vulnerability, low well-being, and disempowerment of women and girls.
|Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy||Women and girls in Nepal have made significant strides in human development over the past two decades; however, gender disparities and gender-based violence (GBV) prevail. Nepal's gender development index increased from 0.77 in 2000 to 0.93 in 2019. Gross enrollment rate at the secondary education level increased from 28.8% in 2000 to 83% in 2019. Health indicators also improved; maternal mortality ratio decreased from 553 deaths per 100,000 live births to 186 between 2000 to 2017. Yet, women continue to face discrimination that manifest in poor social and economic outcomes. Labor force participation rate among adult women is 26.3% - 27 percentage points lower than the male participation rate of 53.8%. Women comprise only 10.6% of the civil service and the share of women in parliament has remained stagnant for the past decade at 33%. Furthermore, women continue to face violence in various forms which not only violates their fundamental human rights but further undermines their physical and mental health, and stymies progress towards gender equality.|
|Impact||GBV cases reduced and GBV survivors reintegrated in society (Government of Nepal's Fifteenth Five Year Plan 2019/2020-2023/2024).|
|Outcome||Access to and quality of GBV services in project areas improved.|
Adequate WCSC facilities established
Rehabilitation services for GBV survivors strengthened.
Community awareness on GBV prevention and services increased.
Institutional capacity for providing effective GBV services developed
|Geographical Location||Lumbini Province, Province 2|
|Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects|
|Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation|
|During Project Design|
|During Project Implementation|
|Consulting Services||Support for recruitment of consulting services who will prepare bidding documents for civil works as part of project readiness|
|Procurement||Relatively small amount of civil works contracts with local bidders will be procured in this project.|
|Responsible ADB Officer||Shrestha, Unika|
|Responsible ADB Department||South Asia Department|
|Responsible ADB Division||Human and Social Development Division, SARD|
Ministry of Women, Children and Senior Citizens
|Concept Clearance||12 Nov 2021|
|Fact Finding||07 Mar 2022 to 16 Mar 2022|
|MRM||08 Apr 2022|
|Last Review Mission||-|
|Last PDS Update||17 Nov 2021|
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|Title||Document Type||Document Date|
|Strengthening Systems to Protect and Uplift Women Project: Initial Poverty and Social Analysis||Initial Poverty and Social Analysis||Nov 2021|
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Evaluation Documents See also: Independent Evaluation
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