Conflict Related Sexual Violence Against Women and Girls in Nepal: Political and societal origins

Author(s): Bindu Sharma
Final project
Year of publication:


During Nepal’s 10 year long internal war, sexual violence against women and girls was committed on a very large scale by both the state and the conflicting party Maoists. As the war ended in Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2006, the concept of Conflict Related Sexual Violence (CSRV) being the strategy and byproduct of war guided and dominated the peace building and transitional justice process. This resulted in the wider social aspects of CSRV such as discriminatory social norms, unequal power relations were not addressed through post-conflict policies and programs. Similarly, there is a lack of systematic categorization of CRSV in Nepal in terms of its causative factors, so a comprehensive form of knowledge is not available for actors and people to easily understand it.
     The concept of ordered and enabled sexual violence is an area of knowledge established in international peace and security. While ordered sexual violence takes place due to an authorized order to use sexual violence as strategy by war actors, enabled sexual violence happens when there is an enabling social environment created by social norms and values that promote such violence. This research proposes to consider whether the cases of Nepal’s CRSV fit within the framework of enabled and ordered CRSV and examine if gendered social norms supported widespread conflict related sexual violence. To do so, it will review cases of sexual violence that have been already documented by some organizations. The characteristics of these cases will be examined within the framework of ordered and enabled CRSV and descriptive analysis will be generated.