WOW | What You Think


Compiled by: Anushka Shrestha
wow photo file © Ram Tandukar/Gokul Shrees/Sabina Mainali

Gunjan Khanal
Freelance Researcher

Although we have reserved seats for women and senior citizens in public vehicles people are still obligated to travel in overcrowded buses and public areas in peak traffic hours. I have witnessed both men and women getting uncomfortable in overcrowded public vehicles. Hence, I assume that both men and women are equally vulnerable to molestation.

I suppose young boys and men are molested every day but people are not aware about it. The key reason for male molestation is the reluctance to raise their voice. Unfortunately, we still have a patriarchal mindset “chora manchey ho ni”. We still don’t consider male molestation as a social problem even though we know about it. If we look at the statistics, 87% sexual assaults including molestation are done by victim’s relatives and rest 13% by strangers. These stats suggest that the cause of male molestation and other sexual assaults exists inside our families and closed ones. Most of them are hidden due to financial obligations and the fear of losing relation with their closed related ones.

If molestation is considered as a crime by law, then justice needs to be served to both men and women. I think raising voices is one of the best ways to raise consciousness and awareness among people. In addition, these voices need to be heard and necessary actions may be taken to control them. The more these issues are oppressed, the more it encourages people to attempt it. So, the foundation to actions and implementation against molestation starts from raising voices and speaking out loud about it. The Crime and Punishment Act, 2027 (1970) amended on 2066/ 10 /07, Article 2 (g) considers insulting women in public place by molestation as a public crime.

However, the Act says nothing about insulting men and male molestation. It is evident that we need an inclusive law for criminalising male molestation and discouraging such acts.