Making a Difference

Saathi

Saathi meaning ‘friend’ in Nepali is a non-governmental, non-profit organisation, which was established in 1993 to address contemporary challenges being faced by Nepali women. In keeping with this agenda, Saathi identified Violence Against Women (VAW) and Children (C) as an area requiring urgent attention and intervention and has been working on this issue since this time.

Strategy

Saathi’s strategy is to work at all levels of Nepali society - from the government to the grassroots level. At the policy level, Saathi has been involved, in partnership, in drafting key legislation regarding domestic violence and is advocating for the passage of this bill. Saathi is also involved in the women’s movement to improve the status of women in Nepal. Recognizing the need to particularly reach the grassroots level in order to achieve its goals, Saathi has established branch offices in the Banke and Bardiya districts of Western Nepal. These Branch offices work towards eliminating violence against women and children and community development and also support women and children victimized by armed conflict. Saathi has recently started working in the area of cross-border trafficking of women and children.

Responding to need

VAW & C is a social problem that affects women and children from all strata of society. In 1997 Saathi conducted pioneering research, ‘Violence Against Women and Girls’, to assess the situation of VAW&G and the different forms of violence that are being faced by women in Nepali society. Another research ‘Psychosocial Impacts of Violence Against Women and Girls with special focus on Rape, Incest and Polygamy’ was conducted to find out the situation of the victims of these crimes. Based on the recommendations of this research, Saathi has adopted a multi-pronged approach to combat VAW&C and various strategies have been designed to campaign against different forms of VAW&C, particularly Domestic Violence.