“With My Support Women In My Community Are Now Speaking When They Face Violence.”

“With My Support Women In My Community Are Now Speaking When They Face Violence.”

15 Sep 2021

A Home-Based Worker Leader From Nepal’s Kathmandu Valley Is Ensuring Voice To Victims Of Violence.

Bhagbati Gautam has been a home-based worker for more than a decade, working and living in Bhaktapur – a historic district in Nepal’s Kathmandu Valley. For the past two year, Gautam – who is affiliated with SAATHI, Nepal’s foremost organisation working on the issue of violence against women - has also taken up the role of counsellor in her community.

She says that in her locality of over 800 households, violence is routine. On a daily basis, Gautam says, she witnesses women being subjected to domestic and sexual violence. Women home-based workers also face violence at the hands of their contractors and middlemen during the course of their work.

Though she has been organising and speaking to women in her community for the past two years, Gautam says that she had little very information on the issue of violence and the legal reprieves available to women. When women approached her, she could do little and could only offer a few words of solace and encouragement.

However, in October of 2020, Bhagbati Gautam attended a training of trainers on gender-based violence by SAATHI in partnership with HomeNet South Asia. Gautam says that the training helped her gain critical knowledge on the theme of violence and she is now able to better support victims of violence.

The home-based worker leader has gone on to train 45 women home-based workers on the issue. She is also is preparing a training module on the issue so that she can reach out to others too. Gautam says that she encourages women to speak up about their experiences of violence and is now actively linking victims of violence to Nepal’s Human Rights Commission and the Forum for Women, Law and Development (FWLD). She hopes this will ensure justice to victims and will encourage others to break the silence! 

The Training of Trainers on GBV, Bhagbati Gautam received was part of the HomeNet South Asia’s Comic Relief-funded initiative – Empowering Women Home-Based Workers.