ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Violence against Women and Impunity

Decoding the Silence

A Difficult Transition: The Nepal Papers by Mandira Sharma and Seira Tamang (eds), New Delhi: Zubaan, 2016; pp xxi + 363, ₹ 695.

 

Bodies of women have always been a site of violence. The “militarised movements” in South Asia make this more apparent. Yet, it is seldom a part of discussion in academia or activism. This sort of ignorance has normalised the reality of existing violence, including sexual violence against women, as Urvashi Butalia, Laxmi Murthy and Navsharan Singh point out while introducing the “Zubaan Series on Sexual Violence and Impunity in South Asia,” of which the book A Difficult Transition: The Nepal Papers is a part. Their introductary note on the series shows how the 25-year long violent conflict in Sri Lanka could not trigger debates on the issue of “violence against women [VAW].” It continues even in conflict situations in other countries in South Asia, such as Pakistan, India, Nepal and Bangladesh. The tendency of sweeping facts under the carpet and making the issue of sexual violence against women normalised, has also prevented the international legal framework to take account of the situation of VAW and impunity for the longest time.

The central theme of this book is sexual violence against women and impunity, and the 10-year conflict in Nepal (1996–2006) comes back and forth and lingers in the background, becoming the reference point of the book. So, one can read this as an informatory text in reference to what was the situation of VAW before the conflict. At the same time this book offers a thorough dissection of the context of the cases of violence, impunity, atrocities by the “state” and the “Maoists.” The first part of the book deals with the broader understanding and situation of violence against women and impunity in South Asia. It ends with Seira Tamang’s article that provides the perspective in the light of which the rest of the book can be read.

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Updated On : 24th Apr, 2019
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