Family Permit For Women Under 40 to Go Abroad? Nepal Rule Slammed
The government claims that the new proposal will reduce trafficking of women and girl children.
In a controversial move, the Nepal government is proposing a new rule asking women under 40 years of age to produce consent from family and permission from local ward to travel abroad. This, the government claims, will reduce trafficking of women and girl children.
Speaking to Kathmandu Post, Tek Narayan Paudel, Spokesperson with Department of Immigration, said:
“Women under 40 are at a higher risk of trafficking and other abuses. Therefore, the new rule is proposed for their protection. Family of the visiting girl/woman and the local ward office will give a recommendation that she can travel abroad.”
There is no clarity about when the rule will come into effect.
‘Insult to Women's Dignity’
Responding to the new proposal, Human Rights Watch South Asia Director Meenakshi Ganguly wrote that "thoughtless regulations are harmful."
“The abuse of migrant workers, including women, is a serious problem, but these policies only make it worse. Instead of denying a woman her right to leave her country, the Nepali government should better regulate recruitment agencies, work with destination country governments to put protections in place, and respond effectively to provide protection services when abuses occur.”Meenakshi Ganguly
International Planned Parenthood Federation Board Member Surakshya Giri said that the rule penalises women and overlooks flaws in laws.
“This rule penalises women and overlooks the flaws in laws and recruitment systems which make women and girls vulnerable to trafficking and other forms of violence. Women are contributors to the economy of the country, and they must be treated as equal citizens. Human rights activists have for years highlighted exploitation of migrant workers and made valuable recommendations. These restrictions are against Nepal’s commitments under the convention on elimination of all forms of discrimination against women (CEDAW).”Surakshya Giri
What Nepal Women Are Saying About Proposal
Women from Nepal took to Twitter to express their concerns over the new proposal, calling it “preposterous” and “misogynistic.”
However, the government has responded to criticism, stating that it will be “easier to track women.”
“This [new rule] is also for keeping a record so that whenever those [women] face any problem, it will be easier for the government to trace them,” said Paudel, adding that “there have been incidents of Nepali citizens going on visit visas with the plan of working later… and then getting stranded,” according to Kathmandu Post.
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