Nepal Now

UPDATE 2: Another disappointment for Nepal’s rape law

October 27, 2021 Marty Logan / Indu Tuladhar Season 3 Episode 19
Nepal Now
UPDATE 2: Another disappointment for Nepal’s rape law
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Show Notes

Before we start, a warning: This episode discusses rape and might be disturbing for some listeners.

Kriti was raped regularly by her father and grandfather from the age of nine. When she was 15 she was finally able to report the violence at the police station in Dhulikhel, near Kathmandu. The legal term for rape in Nepali is a mouthful: ja-bar-jas-ti-ka-ra-ni. When a police officer, a woman, at the police station asked Kriti to recall the first time she was raped, she didn’t understand. She asked the officer what ‘jabarjasti karani’ meant. The woman in uniform scoffed, “If you don’t know what that means, why are you here?”

This shocking anecdote is told in an excellent article by Bhrikuti Rai about how the Nepal Police deals with rape cases. If you haven’t already read it, it provides painful insight into how victim-blaming adds insult to the injury suffered by rape survivors. The article was published in the Kathmandu Post on July 17, 2019. 

I referred to it because in today’s episode we discuss in detail recent updates to Nepal’s rape law. I think it’s important when we’re delving into such minutiae that we don’t forget the people whose lives are shattered by this horrendous crime. 

In the second half of 2020 numerous media reported about a disturbing rise in rape cases in the country. Activists hit the street to protest the violent crimes, and we devoted an episode to one such group. Early in 2021 the rape law was amended by a government ordinance, bypassing Parliament. We discussed its changes, and omissions, in an episode with lawyer Anita Thapaliya. And then last month, the ordinance lapsed because it hadn’t been approved by Parliament within the stipulated timeframe. The rape law reverted to the earlier version. 

What happens now? Please listen to my chat with Indu Tuladhar, Advocate and Executive Chair of Himal Innovative Development and Research, to find out. 

Let us know what you thought of this episode by connecting with the show on social media. We’re Nepal Now or Nepal Now pod, on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn. 

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I’m Marty Logan. I produced this show, and I’ll talk to you again soon.


Bhrikuti Rai article in the Kathmandu Post

Himal Innovative Development and Research (Facebook page)

Nepal Now social links





Thanks as always to Nikunja Nepal for advice and inspiration.

Music: amaretto needs ice ... by urmymuse (c) copyright 2018 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial  (3.0) license. Ft: Apoxode

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