14th May - 18th May
Proceedings of the training
Saathi organized a training of the trainers on violence against women through community action. This training was held in the United World Trade Centre, Tripureshwor from 14th till 18th May. Its schedule was 9 am till 5pm and people from different districts had come to take part in it. All together twenty five people had participated in this training - four from Kanchanpur, five from Dang, one from Nepalgunj, one from Bardiya, five from Banke, five from Kapilvastu and four from Kathmandu. The training scheduled for five days was successful in covering various issues related to violence against women (Refer Annex 1).
Session 1- Introduction & Overview
The first day of the training programme began with the President of Saathi, Mrs. Bandana Rana describing the mission and area of work of Saathi. She also gave a brief outline of the domestic violence bill which had just passed. She also spoke of the objective of organizing the TOT, i.e. to enable community workers to deal with the issue of "Violence Against Women" in a more appropriate and suitable manner.
Everyone then was provided with a postcard which had been cut into two and everyone had to find their partners matching the two pieces. Then each participant had to introduce their partner stating their name, organization and district (Refer Annex 2 - List of Participants)
After this introduction, everyone present there was asked to talk about a case about domestic violence which had touched them citing the victim, preparator and the process followed. During this session different kinds of cases got highlighted like:
• HIV positive couple being discarded by own family members
• Women treated as untouchable just after giving birth
• Child abuse
• Women and child trafficking
• Domestic violence
• Minor rape case
• Disrespecting women who are infertile
• Rape case involving father-in-law
• Mental torture for a single women
• Sex discrimination
• Physical violence inflicted by husband under alcohol's effect
• Dowry cases
The participants were very eager to share these cases that took place in their district.
After this the trainer through group discussion stated the traits of a trainer in a flip chart. This interactive session marked the traits of a good trainer. Being a clear and precise speaker, knowledgeable about the topic, respectful, calm, and being able to draw the attention of the participants were some of the distinct traits that were identified.
Next the participants were asked to share the expectations that they had from the training in a meta card. Most of the participants expected to gather information on violence against women, domestic violence bill, UN policies, trafficking, legal policies and foreign employment.
However, the trainer explained that separate session for trafficking and foreign employment would not be held, yet their linkages with domestic violence would be addressed. Their expectations and the objectives of the workshop as planned by the organizers were comparatively discussed. The objectives set by the trainer were also presented as follow:
• Provide information on sex and gender discrimination
• Provide information on the effects of violence against women and its consequences on the person, family and community.
• Provide information about laws against domestic violence in Nepal
• Train the participants to be able to develop security plan for the victim
• Make the participant be able to make strategies to help the target community and also spread awareness in the communities.
Thereafter, the trainer asked the group to choose a volunteer who would give a recap the next morning on the previous day's proceedings and also churn out jokes and songs when the session would get too long. Next she shared the schedule and along with the participants prepared ground rules to be maintained by everyone during the training program.
Session 2 - Sex and Gender
The second session on sex and gender began after a fifteen minutes tea break. Various exercises were conducted during this session to stimulate thinking on critical incidents which have shaped participants behavior. In the first exercise the partipants were asked to recall their most significant and meaningful memories of an experience when they were happy or sad being a man/woman. The exercise helped the trainer to explain about the difference between sex and gender which the participants were able to grasp easily.
The next exercise involved the division of the participants into single sex groups. The groups were then assigned to brainstorm responses to the following statements:
For men "(In my culture) because I am a man, I must......"
"If I were a woman I could.............."
For women "(In my culture) because I am a woman, I must......."
"If I were a man I could.............."
The responses to these statements helped the participants to understand that besides the biological differences, men are capable of performing all activities carried out by women and vice versa. It helped them to clarify that the limitations in their behaviours, roles and responsibilities are created only through social and cultural practices.
Session 3 - Violence Against Women in Nepal's Context
When the session resumed after the lunch break the trainer started a floor discussion to bring out what the participants felt about the preconceived notions, thinking and principles of the society towards men and women. On the basis of the participants' response a tree exercise was done.
First of all a tree was drawn on a piece of paper and in its roots the commonly used discriminatory proverbs of the society was written like "Mare paap, pale punya", "Yesele boldina, chori le paldina", "Chori mari, gaal tari", "Chori ko choro, tadiko gedo", "Khutta bhaye, jutta hazaar, "Kaali gaye, gori auncha" and "Chora padaunu, chori daara kataunu".
Based on the outcome the second task was to write the institutions and organizations that help to strengthen existing norms, values and attitudes towards men and women in the society. Therefore the stump of the tree comprised of the customs of the society, patriarchic thinking, culture, discriminatory rules, traditions and education system
Likewise the third task was to note down as a result of all this mentioned above the types of VAW & G prevalent in the society. Thus the leaves of the tree were filled with the effects i.e., domestic violence, child marriage, child labour, dowry system, trafficking, rape cases, mental torture on daughter-in-law, ill morals, oligopoly, marriage with a far older man, suicidal cases, incest and killing.
This exercise opened the platform to discuss the types of violence against women in Nepal. The types of violence pointed out were: domestic violence, incest, trafficking, rape, sexual harassment, gender discrimination, female foeticide, dowry killings or torture, ill treatment of mentally or physically challenged women, domestic rape and harassment on women while in custody or shelter homes. This exercise helped to create the linkage between the roots, the trunk and the leaves and fruits of the tree.
This exercise also helped the trainer to bring forward the facts about violence against women and children in Nepal. It was also observed that violence against women and children is taking place all around the world and was not limited to any one particular country. Violence reported cases of developed countries like America was also shared. It was noted that violence should be seen as a problem of the society and not of the women alone as this not only has a negative effects on the mental, physical and spiritual aspect of the individual but has long term damaging effect on the community as well.
The day ended with sharing of research conducted by Saathi on the types of violence faced by women during conflict.
Session 4 - Effects of war and its impact on women (in Nepali context) and post conflict challenges
The day started with a recap of the previous day's program which was provided by Geeta Basnet from Kanchanpur.
The focus of the day was then turned to violence that took place during conflict and its impact on society especially women. To identify this problem and list out its impact the participants were divided into four groups according to their districts i.e. Kanchanpur, Dang, Banke and Kapilvastu. The participants discussed on the issue for 20 minutes after which they were asked to make presentations.
The first group, Kanchanpur, pointed out the following types of violence in their presentation -
• child rape
• domestic violence
• gang rape
• harassment on the pretext of being a spy and in the name of donation collection.
The next group, Dang reported the following types of violence:
• physical abuse on women who have just given birth
• killing of men
• seizure of other's property
• threatening and kidnapping of people who didn't identify with the set ideologies
• rape of old and young women
• forcefully taking the students to participate in their programs
They further noted that these kinds of activities displaced children from their school and home, increased theft and dacoity in the community, increased suicidal tendency and also promoted trafficking of women.
Thereafter, in Banke's presentation they had classified the types of violence and its impact on women into four categories - financial, social, mental and physical. They pointed out the following violence:
• increase in women's financial responsibility
• seizure of property
• increase in theft and financial loss
• breakdown of relationships
• disallowed to following traditions
• crime in the name of religion
• loss of near ones
• threatening, abuse
• cutting of body parts
• early marriage
• discontinuity of studies
The impact of this forced women to work as sex worker and have abortions. Women were also trafficked and those in the village had difficulty sustaining one's family. Many women also became widow and were humiliated by the family. Victims also lost their mental balance which increased suicidal tendency in them.
The last group, Kapilvastu, listed out the following types of violence
• dowry related crime
• communal violence
They also shared of a rape case where justice was provided by putting the preparator in 14 years of imprisonment and also providing a share of his property to the victim.
This group session was followed by a tea break.
After the session resumed the trainer presented a study on post conflict challenge conducted in other countries like Sierra Leon, Kosovo and Sri Lanka. This study was based on the experiences of women of these countries. The presentation also revealed that cases of violence against women increased during the post conflict period. The study also focused on how women activists and women right defenders actively responded to women rights violations during and after conflict. The post conflict challenges faced by these women which was also identical to Nepal was discussed during this session.
The challenges are listed out as:
• Post conflict women's role is minimal in taking important decisions related to cease fire agreement, peace accord, transitional justice mechanisms and DDR.
• Women's involvement minimal in reconstruction work. Their suggestions are also not considered important.
• The presentation also revealed that cases of violence increased during the post conflict period because there was an increase in the number of organized crime groups.
• It was also noted that there was an increase in trafficking, prostitution and sexual abuse
• Increase in domestic violence cases as there is a disbalance in the traditional role of the women when the men of the house became displaced. After war when the men of the house come back there is difficulty in making adjustments
• There is also increase in unemployment and people have easy access to small arms
• Women are scared to raise voice against violence committed by their own party leaders and religious leaders because of dandahinta
• Reconstruction and reintegration takes long time and during the transition phase women and children have to live in acute poverty and difficulty
In Nepal's context, after the conflict a new ministry for peace and reconstruction has been formed. However, there are no women staffs in this newly formed ministry. It was also informed that under this ministry, peace committee will be formed in all 75 districts and the government has made it mandatory to include 33% women in these committees.
A lunch break followed this session.
Session 4 - Presentation on the UN Resolution 1325 and 1820
After the lunch break, a brief presentation on UN Resolution1325 was made by the trainer. The main objective of this presentation was to briefly explain to the trainees what this resolution was all about and its importance regarding women's involvement in the peace process. It was informed that 1325 was passed unanimously on 31 October 2000 and is the first resolution ever passed by the security council that specifically address the impact of war on women and women's contribution to conflict resolution and sustainable peace. It was also known that the resolution urges member states to ensure increased representation of women at all decision making levels for the prevention, management and resolution of conflict.
After the presentation the participants questioned as to why the resolution did not specify the percentage of women participation in the process. It was then explained that this was the shortcoming of the resolution and according to the UN report the number of men willing to go to the conflict area was much more than of women, hence making it difficult to specify percentage.
Immediately after this the participants shared poems on women's empowerment.
This was again followed by a presentation on Resolution 1820. The presentation revealed that Resolution 1820 confronts sexual violence in conflict and post conflict situations. 1820 demands to adopt concrete protection and prevention measures to end sexual violence and assert the importance of women's participation in all processes related to ending sexual violence in conflict. It was also known that 1820 is a focused response to weak area of 1325 implementation.
After the presentation participants shared that sexual violence has characteristics that make it difficult to address including collection of evidence of such violence. In Nepalese context it is all the more difficult as these cases go unreported. Hence practical challenges of the resolution was also discussed.
Session 5 - Transitional Justice
The last session of the day was on transitional justice. A documentary was shown during this session which featured South Africa, Peru, Chile and East Timor and the formation of Truth and Reconcilitaion Commission in these countries that was set up as a legal solutions to deal with the acts of suppression, preplanned violations of human rights and torture inflicted during the phase of conflict.
The documentary served as an eye opener to the participants to further discuss the relevance of Transitional justice in Nepal and formation of such committee.
The participants were involved in an active discussion as to whether Nepal needs such commission or not. Except for two, all the participants felt that it would be wise to form Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Nepal.
Following thoughts were shared by the participants during this interesting session.
• "New enthusiasm cannot kill the sorrow of the past. A commission would help to correct the mistake committed in the past"
• "The commission would provide an opportunity to heal the wound."
• "May the commission not be like a court"
• "The commission would provide an opportunity to forgive."
• "It would help in rebuilding relationship and trust."
• "The victims wants to speak."
• "It's painful to know the truth, but ultimately it is only the truth that gives peace and relief",
• "Truth should be known to all"
Thereafter a presentation was done to explain the various aspects of Transitional justice including its ground reality, need, problems and challenges. Importance of transitional justice during reestablishment and reconstruction of the nation was also discussed.
Session 6 - Definition of Violence Against Women in the Nepalese context and the types of violence against women
The day started with the re-cap of the previous day activities. The participants were asked to recount incidents of violence personally known by them in course of their work or otherwise. Cases of violence related to rape, child marriage and dowry was hared during this. Based on the cases discussed the trainer asked each participants to write in simple sentences the meaning of violence. Through this exercise violence could be easily defined and understood by everyone. The trainer then through slides explained the term violence against women with relation to physical, mental, sexual, social and economical violence. He also said that violence is directly related to finance and gave an example of how parents are not willing to spend on daughter's education and health.
He then shared existing policies and present legal provision regarding violence against women and girls in Nepal. He presented the provisions in the present constitution to tackle this issue. He further provided a detailed information in regard to law on rape, incest, trafficking, sexual harrasment, polygamy and child marriage.
After the presentation a rape case of a minor in Kapilvastu by an influential businessman was discussed in detail. This case would not be registered if not for the volunteers of Saathi who continuously raised this issue
Session 7 - Focus on Domestic Violence
After the lunch break this session on domestic violence aimed at enabling the participants to understand why domestic violence needs to be looked at minutely in the Nepali context; to understand the nature, cause and effects of domestic violence; and acquaint them with the need and strategies for helping the victims.
The recently passed domestic violence bill was the focus of the session. The trainer discussed the provision on the bill and also its shortcomings. The participants during this session also learned the skill for writing application and filing a First Information Report (FIR) which would help them to tackle cases of domestic violence in their community. They were further informed of the services available including the role of different NGO's and GO's most importantly the role of the National Women's commission.
Session 8 - Right to information
Advocate Tanka Raj Aryal came to take this special session on right to information. In his presentation he outlined the meaning of the term right to information, its importance, history, principles. He further outlined the legal provision in Nepal regarding this issue and also defined the process of acquiring information.
An open and lively discussion followed this session which enabled the group to understand that they could also use their right to information to establish gender equality, to protect the victim, to control corruption and to make government agencies more responsible towards people.
Session 9 - Meaning and Definition, Process and Steps of Social Mobilisation
The trainer for the day Ms. Madhuri Singh presented the glimpses of the research conducted by her on social, economic and psychological impact of domestic violence on Nepalese women.
Ms. Madhuri then diverted the attention of the participants to the topic and explained that social mobilization is a continuous process and the idea (on the issue) is initiated by a leader by utilizing of community resources to bring about positive change.
She then divided the participants in two group. Group 1 was asked to list down the characteristics of social mobilization while group 2 was asked to list down the reasons for social mobilization.
Group 1 listed the characteristics of social mobilization as follow:
a. Understanding of social problems
b. Development of leadership
c. Collective unity
d. Community wise initiation after understanding the problem of community.
e. Mobilizes resources and strength of community.
f. Positive changes of collective ideas.
g. Is organied
h. Identification of different problems
i. Encourages subject of interest of a society.
Group 2 listed the reasons for social mobilization as follow:
a. To bring about changes in attitude
b. To elevate self confidence
c. To develop organized idea
d. To apprise responsibility of community.
e. To understand the problem of community by the community itself.
f. To bring about positive changes.
g. To bring about awareness and give continuity to good work.
h. To increase self-dependency and self-esteem.
i. To abolish social discrimination.
After the presentation the trainer gave an example of how social mobilization group was formed in Saathi Banke and how it was successful in raising voice against violence. She said that earlier only women were involved in this group but later men including police personnel were involved. This group she said had been active in raising awareness and intermediating issues with CDO's and lawyers.
The trainer then explained the phases of Social Mobilization as follow.
• DIALOGUE INITIATION
• COLLECTIVE SOCIAL ANALYSIS
• SOCIAL CAPITAL CREATION
• SOCIAL ACTION
• SOCIAL REFLECTION
• SOCIAL ALLIANCE BUILDING
After the lunch break the trainer divided the participants into two groups and gave a different case study to each group
Group 1 - There has been a rape in your community. A political leader is protecting the perpetrator. The police seems helpless. The parents of the victim have come to your organization for help.
Group 2 - There has been reports of trafficking of girls from your village. What would your organization do to tackle this issue.
Based on these cases she asked the group to discuss on the following questions
How will you mobilize the community to have the rapist arrested?
Who will you first talk to?
What will be your plan?
Who might be the catalyst, the mobiliser and the mobilized?
After discussion the two groups made their presentations. The presentations paved way for further discussion on the process and partners for social mobilization. The trainer through the presentations further divided the partners in social mobilization as the catalyst, the mobilisers and the mobilized.
Session 10 - Tips for Advocacy
Ms. Bandana Rana during this session helped the participants to understand the meaning and importance of advocacy. She told the participants that the ultimate goal of all the learning was to be able to advocate on women issues and against violence against women that prevails in the society. The trainer then continued the session with the definition of policy advocacy. Ms. Bandana Rana then gave a detailed example of how Saathi advocated for the passage of the domestic violence bill as follow.Through this presentation the process of advocacy also became clear
1. Subject - Domestic Violence Bill
2. Objective - Passage of domestic violence
3. Target group - Parliamentarinas
4. Develop content - Formed alliance of like minded organization and prepared memorandum to be submitted by the delegation to the Speaker of the House
5. Media Mobilisation - Conducted interaction program by calling parliament members from different parties and mobilize the media to cover issues related to this.
6. Develop Support Mechanisms - Through concerned Ministry, Commission for Women
7. Collect Resources - to organize meetings and programs through different organisations
8. Implement - Submitted memorandum, organised meetings, mobilized media, etc.
During this session the traits of a trainer was also discussed. The participants through discussion identified the traits and keeping on mind these traits a participant Ms. Madhuri Shrestha of Kapilvastu was asked to present a role play where she would take a class to the rest of the participants. This exercise helped the participants to better understand the qualities of a good trainer.
Session 11 - Role play
Following the recap of the previous day the participants were divided into four groups according to their district and each individual of the group through a role play had to take up a short session on related issue. During the play they had to make sure to use as much as possible the traits of a good trainer. The members of the other group then had to note both the shortcomings and the positive traits of the presenter. This exercise helped the participants to realize and change their own shortcomings and into their strength.
Session 12 - Discussion on training manual
This session led by Mr. Pukar Shah aimed at bringing out a short manual for the three day community level training to be held in the four districts. For the purpose the participants through discussion identified the absolutely necessary topics to be covered during the community training. As such following topics were priorotised:
• Sex and Gender
• Violence against women
• Domestic violence
• Laws made against violence against women with special focus on domestic violence bill including the process of filing an FIR
• Effect of armed conflict on women and transitional justice
• Social Mobilisation and advocacy.
Based on this recommendation the manual would be revised for the community level training.
Session 13 - Evaluation of the training
For the purpose each participants were asked to fill up a form to evaluate the topics covered during the TOT, the role of the trainer and the handouts provided for each topic. Most of the participants shared that the session on domestic violence and transitional justice were very effective.
During this session the participants through their district groups were also asked to present their workplan for the community level training. Following information was gathered through this group work.
Target group & participants
End of June
Men and women from conflict and violence affected area
First week of July
5 participants each from 5 different Village Development Committee’s (VDC’s)
Local VDC in Mahendranagar
End of June
Moderately literate men and women who represent their community organizations, ward representative and volunteers
First week of july
Members of Saathi’s group for violence against women, representatives from stakeholding organizations in Banke and Bardiya