About Nepal’s travel ban on women travelling abroad

About Nepal’s travel ban on women travelling abroad

The government of Nepal has proposed a new law that would ban Nepali women travellers from going abroad without permission from their families and local government. Since the law has been proposed, Nepalis have been protesting against the so-called unconstitutional and ridiculous proposal introduced by the Department of Immigration.

In a bid to stop women trafficking, the country’s immigrtion department proposed the law last week in a meeting. According to this, any woman under 40 would need permission to travel to Africa or any Middle East destination for the first time.

The proposal was criticised unanimously and hundreds of Nepali women gathered at the Maitighar Mandala in Kathmandu to protest against the same. A women’s march was organised to highlight other major issues of female abuse and rights.

The department officials, in their defence, said that the new law is applicable only to vulnerable women. They also said that it had yet to be finalised.

Hima Bista, executive director at Women Lead Nepal, said, “What is extremely dangerous is the thought process behind it. The very fact that a policymaker is thinking about drafting this law restricting the movement of adult girls and women tells us how deep-rooted the patriarchal mindset is.”

A former election commissioner of Nepal Ila Sharma called the proposal ridiculous and said “Instead of empowering and building the capacity of women, as well as the rest of the emigrant labour workforce, they are being regressive, unconstitutional, not to say ridiculous.”

According to Nepal’s Human Rights Commission report, 35000 people, including 15000 women and 5000 young girls, were trafficked in 2018.

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