A Difficult Transition: The Nepal Papers

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Mandira Sharma, Seira Tamang
Zubaan, Oct 25, 2016 - Political Science
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The Sexual Violence and Impunity in South Asia research project (coordinated by Zubaan and supported by the International Development Research Centre) brings together, for the first time in the region, a vast body of research on this important – yet silenced – subject. Six country volumes (one each on Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and two on India, as well as two standalone volumes) comprising over fifty research papers and two book-length studies, detail the histories of sexual violence and look at the systemic, institutional, societal, individual and community structures that work together to perpetuate impunity for perpetrators.

 The essays in this volume focus on Nepal, which though not directly colonized, has not remained immune from the influence of colonialism in its neighbourhood. In addition to home-grown feudal patriarchal structures, the writers in this volume clearly demonstrate that it is the larger colonial and post-colonial context of the subcontinent that has enabled the structuring of inequalities and power relations in ways that today allow for widespread sexual violence and impunity in the country – through legal systems, medical regimes and social institutions.
 

The period after the 1990 democratic movement, the subsequent political transformation in the aftermath of the Maoist insurgency and the writing of the new constitution, has seen an increase in public discussion about sexual violence. The State has brought in a slew of legislation and action plans to address this problem. And yet, impunity for perpetrators remains intact and justice elusive. What are the structures that enable such impunity? What can be done to radically transform these? How must States understand the search for justice for victims and survivors of sexual violence? This volume addresses these and related issues.

Published by Zubaan.

 

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About the author (2016)

Mandira Sharma is a lawyer, human rights activist and founder of Advocacy Forum, Nepal. She has been instrumental in challenging impunity and advocating for a comprehensive transitional justice mechanism.

Seira Tamang is a political scientist with extensive experience in researching dimensions of social exclusion and in promoting practices and policies of good governance in Nepal.

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