Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere ~Martin Luther King Jr.
Women, in Nepal, have reached in the parliament, they lead a number of organizations, they are even worshipped as a living goddess but still in the patriarchal society of ours they are killed before birth, there are hands that grope them in public places, there are lips that whistle and eyes that stare, undressing them in the perverted thoughts of theirs degrading the status of women to mere objects that can be used and disposed of as per the wishes of men. Several research projects in Nepal have indicated that 66 percent of women have endured verbal abuse, 33 percent emotional abuse, while 77 percent of the perpetrators were family members. But this must end; if we want to pride ourselves in being humans, the highest form of animals that has the ability to think and judge, we must take actions to end the ongoing Violence Against Women (VAW).
To begin with, let us discuss who is to blame for VAW. It’s extremely convenient to put all the blame on the perpetrators or even worse, in some incidents, the victim herself. But, to speak the truth, it’s the attitude and mindset of the entire nation that is responsible for the rise of such pervasive incidents in the country. And above all it’s the apathy and indifference of the people to raise voices against it that makes it difficult to curb VAW. According to a survey most cases, around 80%, of gender violence in Nepal occur at home which often go unreported, both by the victims and the witnesses, and it’s the silences in such cases that inflict the deepest of wounds.
Although there are organizations working to address issues on VAW, they are unable to make their efforts count due to the low penetration of modern technologies in Nepal. With an aim to bridge the gap between social initiative to curb the incidents of VAW and modern technology, and taking into consideration that mobile penetration in Nepal has reached to 66.96%, Sparrow SMS has teamed up with Yuwa to launch a campaign intended to hear and act upon the voices being raised against Violence Against Women.
The team has launched a facebook group with the name Voices Heard which allows people to post their views or report issues on VAW also by an SMS. The message can be either directly posted in the facebook group or typed in the compose message box of a cellphone and sent to 5455. The message thus sent will be automatically posted in the facebook group in real time and then the posts will be addressed by particular social organization as per the need of the facebook post.
The Project allows the privilege to
· Report an issue related to you or anyone you know
· Report on incident that you witness
· Post Directly into the Facebook group
· Send your post in real time by a simple SMS to 35455 with normal SMS cost of Rs 1+tax ,available for NT, Ncell, UTL and SmartTel users
To increase the participation of more people, there is also the privilege to post message anonymously. It is hoped that the initiative will encourage more and more people to come forward and speak up against VAW so that more issues could be addressed. So, just text your message and be heard, it’s high time you spoke.
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter ~ Martin Luther King Jr.