Rolpa, Feb 12
Shanti BK of Rolpa Municipality-1 was thrown out of her house after the death of her husband in course of foreign employment in a Gulf country. Moreover, the family members blamed her for the death of the husband and she was expelled from the house despite eight years of caring for the family.
Her promise of living with her in-laws and looking after them after the husband’s death was dashed. Taking a six-year-old daughter with her, she knocked the door of the court seeking justice. Although the District Court and the Appellate Court delivered her justice with the right of a share in her husband’s property, she is still denied justice by the family. Desperate fighting for her right, she is currently staying separately at another’s house.
Similarly, Neera BK of Kotgaon, Rolpa was the victim of domestic violence ever since her husband died in a tractor accident. She had a daughter with her but living separately from her in-laws. After the death of her husband her in-laws denied her of the accident insurance claims she was entitled to. On top of that, her in-laws took all the utensils and clothes that she had bought from the earnings she made through wage labour. After this she could not stay at the house any longer and went to the district headquarters seeking justice. The Single Women’s Group supported her and found work for her at a garment factory in Kathmandu.
Another woman, Anju Khatri of Bhawang, Rolpa was so much victimised by her drunkard husband that she finally divorced him. Her husband used to beat and assault her almost every day. She had been living separately. Her divorced husband died after some time, probably due to alcoholism. But she was the victim of social violence after his death. Even the neighbours started talking negatively of her. Getting out of domestic violence, she was now the victim of social violence. The situation was such that she could no longer stay in the village. Now she is working as a domestic helper in the district headquarters.
Shanti, Neera and Anju are but a few representative single women who are the victims of domestic and social violence in Rolpa district. There are many women like them who are silently bearing violence against them.
Rolpa is one of the districts which was affected the most due to the decade-long conflict. Many people in the district lost their lives during the conflict and many women have been widowed. Moreover, an increasing number of married men from the district are going for abroad employment. Many of them work in hazardous conditions and obviously die in course of work, which makes many women widows.
It is found that many such single women in the district are living in desperate situation enduring domestic and social violence on top of the sorrow over the loss of their husbands. Human and women rights for these women are like a far-fetched dream.
They rue that their situation has not improved even after the ground-breaking political change that has taken place in the country. Women, who lost their husbands to the conflict and are now single, lament that not much has improved among their lot although their husbands sacrificed their lives for the cause of the nation and social change as the political leaders and parties claim.