Coming Together to Heal.
The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence
The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an annual international campaign that kicks off on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and runs until 10 December, Human Rights Day. Sajha Dhago will be posting 16 story cloths each day related to GBV.
The picture is the story of a person who has been sexually assaulted repeatedly. She expresses that it was not her mistake but her character has been assassinated and she has been humiliated by the society multiple times due to that incident. The pain she has gone through cannot be expressed in words. But she expressed her pain and trauma in the form of story cloth after being a part of Sajha Dhago intervention. She built up the courage and expressed what she have gone through.
Home should be the place of happiness and safety. To make it like a heaven, everyone has equal role to play. But when one person becomes abusive in the family, there is no harmony in the family. It is no more the place of safety. In the picture, when we see at that house, it’s seems to be well-off family. But the pain, abuse and fight within the house is not visible to outsiders. The person who made this story expects to have a happy family and for that she thinks the need of behavioral change in everybody.
It’s always woman, whose character is always questioned. This is the story of a woman, who has been questioned, humiliated, and has been target of character assassination because she couldn’t give birth to a child. Once it was known that she will not be able to give birth, there were some changes in her in-law’s behavior. She faced many taunts and sarcasms. She tolerated all of those. But luckily her husband always supported her. Such kind of behavior of family and society took a toll in her mental health. Her story is just one example. Such many stories are found in our society and as a result many women have been suffering mentally.
When a series of traumatic events occurs in life, life becomes hopeless. This story is about the person who has been a victim of sexual assault and whose husband is a polygynist. Series of such unfortunate incident occurred in her life, and this led to the identity crisis. These kinds of events bring chaos in the family. Polygamy could be one of the main causes of gender-based violence in our society and awareness against such practices are needed
Most of the time people seek for more love, attention and emotional security, especially when they are deprived of such emotions. A person who has to live without parents and is married forcefully, her pain and trauma is not expressible in words. The pain of the person who made this story cloth was not just limited to these hurtful emotions. She had to endure physical and emotional torture by a substance abuser husband. After his demise, she was told that her daughter was not entitled to property inheritance because she is a girl. These incidents made her physically and mentally weak. When she received emotional support from Sajha Dhago facilitators, she shared her story confidently and positive physical and mental changes were observed.
In a developing country like Nepal, many men travel for foreign employment. When they return, arguments can break out as the husbands suspect their wives of having extramarital affairs or spending money rigorously. They are constantly threatened, insulted and scrutinized. This also leads to violence. The participant who sew this story cloth and her daughter-in-law faced similar situation. Not only did her husband but also her son suspected her. They were both alcoholic and created a mess in the house. While sharing the story in Sajha Dhago session, she felt relief and comfort. Her emotional burden was reduced.
Many Nepali women who travel abroad for employment come back with stories of being taken advantage of. Many are sexually exploited. The Sajha Dhago participant who sewed this story cloth shared that she was fortunately able to contact her parents on time and escape. Otherwise, she would have been the victim of sexual exploitation. She says that her body trembles with fear each time she recalls the incident. These kinds of incidents leave a long-term trauma in the victims.
Childhood sexual abuse can have serious and long-term consequences on one’s mental health. Survivors may feel an array of emotions, including guilt, shame, anxiety, despair, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These survivors frequently experience feelings of worthlessness and self-blame. Seeking help from mental health specialists who specialize in trauma and abuse, such as therapists or counselors, is critical. Therapy can offer survivors a secure place to explore and process their experiences.
Women around the world are often impacted by gender-based violence including sexual harassment and assault at work. They are often forced to work in humiliating environment, and are exposed to inappropriate jokes, insinuations and derogatory comments. They may face physical violence, verbal violence, sexual harassment or psychological violence. This picture tells the story of a girl who has been harassed both physically and mentally by the owner of the hotel where she used to work. She shares that she doesn’t want same kind of incident to occur in her life again as this has left a trauma in her life.
In a patriarchal society, women are seen as inferior, weaker, generally less capable, less intelligent and less worthy. They are the one who is responsible for house chores. Gender-based violence can occur in any society, but patriarchal structures often exacerbate and perpetuate such violence. Domestic abuse and intimate partner violence are considered as a part of patriarchal violence. Patriarchal societies reinforce power imbalances between men and women. This power dynamic can be exploited, leading to situations where men uses violence as a means of control and dominance over women.
This story is about a woman who was leading a family dynamic, but the society always talked ill about her. She says that the status of the women is still the same and this need to change.
Despite various international women’s right movement have occurred over many years but still their rights have been violated. Partner violence, female genital mutilation, child marriage, economic inequalities and girls trafficking are some forms of violence faced by girls and women around the world. Asking the permission to carry out any work, not allowing to work outside except household chores, physical violence and mental trauma will lead a woman to a terrible suffering.
This is the story of a woman who has been physically abused and mentally traumatized by her husband. While going through all these incidents, she feels that her right has been violated.
Equality and freedom from discrimination are fundamental human rights regardless of one’s gender identity and sexual orientation. LGBTI individuals and other people with varied sexual orientations and gender identities continue to face stigma, discrimination, and social disapproval. They have experienced bullying, verbal, physical and mental harassment as well as GBV and discrimination because of gender identity and sexual orientation. This is the story of a person who has gone through similar situations in life.
In the modern world, gender inequality persists, particularly in societies that have traditional and patriarchal social structures. One widespread practice that oppresses women and maintains male superiority is polygamy. The women in these marriages experience prejudice and abuse based on their gender, and they also lack confidence and self-worth. Since their husbands frequently control money and information access, they frequently have little to no access to resources or money. This could lead to emotional and mental breakdown of a woman.
In Nepal, single women, especially widows have been experiencing a lot of humiliation and disgrace. They are deprived of their happiness and made to endure an eternity of grief over their husband’s demise. They do not have equal inheritance rights and can lose their land, be forced out from their house, or even be split up from their kids.
There is no place for inequality, prejudice, and violence. In order to live in tranquility regardless of skin tone, sexual orientation, or political opinions, we must keep working toward more diverse and inclusive communities. The LGBTQI community has been struggling for rights and freedom and is calling for equality. They have been the victim of human trafficking, sexual assault or domestic violence. There may be numerous obstacles standing in the way of LGBTQ individuals while reporting abuse and getting assistance.
Celebrating Day 16 of The Activism against Gender-Based Violence, 75th the International Human Rights Day.