Home Bot CategoriesPeopleMen Speak PROS & CONS – #METOO MOVEMENT IN NEPAL


by wowmagazine

Subarna Chhetri
Media Personality

MeToo movement in Nepal is very new and has just started to surface. Violence against women in any form was always there but hardly reported especially in cases related to rape. Perhaps such a situation is due to our closed and conservative mindset. Victims need swift protection and justice. 

There are two sides to a coin always. On the one hand, the responsible authorities need to draw up strong laws and regulations to defer perpetrators from indulging in such acts and immediately punish the perpetrator heavily. On the other hand, the victims will need constant counselling, protection and acceptance from their families and society. They will need to muster courage and build strong will power. And this will be difficult. Perhaps this is the face of other side of the MeToo coin.

Karma Shakya

Such a movement offers an opportunity for survivors of abuse to realise that they are not alone and that they should feel safe and confident to voice what happened to them. It also helps everyone to realise what is acceptable and what is not in terms of behaviour. It ensures that perpetrators are prosecuted accordingly and whenever required, that processes and laws are reviewed and adjusted to best protect and support the rights of anyone involved. As we could see with the many cases that came to light since the movement started in Nepal, this is definitely required and relevant. 

If I should think of one con, it could be the risk of misuse of what this movement stands for, as we sometimes see for example with valid cases of defamation. However, it is important to underline that those remain exceptions and such limited occurrences should never be used as an excuse to undermine neither the importance and positive outcomes of such a movement, nor the suffering of actual survivors of abuse, and in turn, the freedom that this movement gives them to finally be able to stand up and speak out, and get the acknowledgement and justice they deserve. 

Rastra Bimochan Timalsena

MeToo movement came out all around the world as a reaction to years of oppression the females have been facing specially in the area of sexual violence. MeToo has become a movement which has empowered women to be able to speak up regarding the abuse they faced in the past which they were not able to do in the past due to the structure and the value that ran in the society. MeToo movement in Nepal has come in phases but compared to MeToo movement elsewhere in the world has not gained much prevalence except a few cases here and there. The same old thought culture, victim blaming culture especially against women still exists in Nepal which has led to this movement not being as effective in Nepal as compared with other countries.  
The pros of this movement is that it empowers anyone to speak up against the abuse they faced in the past and also empowers women or anyone else who might be subjected to such abuse in future to speak up in a timely manner. Additionally, another pro of this movement is that it shows the true face and image of the society and how certain sections of society are being constantly abused with no repercussion to the abuser. 
The only con I could think of is that in the many true stories that come out, there might also be a few false stories that could come forward where the abuser might not exactly be the abuser and the chances of a media trial where a person is blamed for an act of abuse by the media even if they are not such abusers will occur.

Sisan Baniya
CEO, Paradigm TV

It had to come up sooner or later. The story we heard recently had been inside someone for years. We can’t even imagine the pain. The support the recent case got has given courage to others to speak up. Also, it’s not about being relevant, it is about being rightful and providing justice.  

This gives women who have held back to speak up the courage to put their stories in the public. Apart from social media, in reality, society still punishes and shames the victim. However, there could always be cons involved in even the purest movements. I just hope the movement isn’t taken advantage of in the wrong ways. 

Ananta Raj Luitel
Advocate, Executive Committee Member,
Supreme Court Bar Association

MeToo movement in Nepal has gradually unfolded the terrible experiences of rape, molestation, sexual harassment and assault in reputed organisations, academic sector and film industry in the country. The women activists and the victims have continuously raised this issue on social media platforms which was reached newsrooms and high-ranking government offices as well. Unexpectedly, school teachers, university professors, actors, movie stars, mayors and ministers have been exposed in the alleged offenses. Even though some brought serious results and some may not have brought significant result, it has become a milestone for securing the rights of women in society.  

In addition, it is an open secret that all cases do not reach the law enforcement agencies. Despite this, women have gradually begun to raise such issues in society even though some may not have sufficient evidence to prove their allegations in the court of law. Those who may not prove their cases in the court of law would however help in raising awareness and help curb the state of impunity in society. Ultimately, such awareness will force law enforcement agencies to be more sensitive than before.

Jason Shah
Co- Founder, Hostel Next Door & Raithane

MeToo movement has been incredibly important to build conversations around consent and authority, especially within the working environment. In Nepal, government bureaucracy, business environment and legal enforcement are shaped by men in power who often get away by generating fear and subduing victims. Thus, the widespread discourse and public awareness created by #metoo stories are powerful in supporting victims of sexual assault and harassment.  

The courage victims demonstrate in sharing their harrowing experiences has to be met with the responsibility of civic society and concerned activist organisations in supporting them through legal approaches and media management. While there’s a valid criticism that #metoo stories make public judgment of the accused without considering them “innocent until proven guilty,” we must accept that these public accusations create support for victims in our communities where it is rare that sexual crimes are reported at all. In essence, #metoo is a public rally towards making sure victims are not silenced.  The best we can do as part of the movement is to support victims as well as making humble efforts in creating enabling reporting mechanisms in our workplaces – and largely in law enforcement – against harassment and assault.

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