Institute for Global Health


Tracking cases of gender-based violence in Nepal: individual, institutional, legal & policy analyses

Project Summary

Despite political commitment and a supportive legal and policy framework, violence against women remains a significant problem in Nepal.

In the 2011 Nepal Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS), more than one in five women reported a lifetime experience of physical violence and more than one in ten a lifetime experience of sexual violence. Trafficking of girls to India for sex work is a particular problem; other specific forms of violence in Nepal include dowry-related violence, widow abuse, polygamy and accusations of witchcraft. Most women who experience violence do not seek help.

The NDHS also found that 75% of women who had experienced physical or sexual violence had not sought any help; only 7% of women who had experienced sexual violence had reported the assault. This brief summarises challenges and areas for action identified by a recent study, which assessed how well laws, policies and institutions respond to violence against women, women's experiences, and opportunities to improve responses.

The study was conducted by University College London and the Centre for Research on Environment Health and Population Activities (CREHPA), with funding and technical support from UN Women, UNFPA and DFID's Enabling State Programme and support from the National Women's Commission, Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare and other partners.

The study interviewed 13 national and 45 district stakeholders and reviewed laws, policies, mechanisms for reporting GBV cases and media reporting. It also interviewed six women whose cases had been reported in the media (cases included dowry-related torture, gang rape, burning, trafficking and physical violence) to explore where they sought help and barriers to receiving support.

Links to other research

Other research from IGH in Nepal