Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Women Against Violence Against Women

On Sunday, August 3, a group of women rallied in Kathmandu to protest the killing of Laxmi Bohora. Murdered by her husband and mother-in-law in May in Kanchanpur, Bohora was a social worker fighting for women’s and human rights. Women protesters have been holding a hunger strike for the last 3 weeks to draw attention to the cause of domestic violence awareness and demand that Bohora's killers be charged (they were released on bail, and the case dropped.) Not getting the response from government officials that they wanted, they decided to do something radical. The hunger strikers dressed in black, with part of their undergarments showing, and marched to the Constitutional Assembly. Police held back the demonstration, claiming that the women were acting indecently, and became physically violent with some of the women. Some of the demonstrators were taken to the police station, and those injured were taken to hospital.

I caught the tail end of the demonstration later in the afternoon, when the friends of the detained women marched to the police station to demand the release of those being held. As the protesters chanted for justice, the police held the order. A lot of tension was in the air, but finally, the demonstrators were allowed through the police gate and joined the others. Snacks were handed out, and the women who’d been accosted by police showed their bruises.

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