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Published on Mar 6, 2012
Bandana Rana, Executive Director of Saathi, speaks to Say NO -- UNiTE about the main challenges and needs of survivors of gender based violence in Nepal. Saathi, which means "friend" in Nepali established the first women's shelter in Nepal, but soon realized that survivors of domestic violence needed much more than a transitional or safe house. Today Saathi provides shelter and support to survivors of violence, including women impacted by conflict and cross-border trafficking in Nepal, and lobbies to develop and implement national laws and action plans. Through campaigns and awareness raising initiatives, Saathi mobilizes communities and engages men as allies for preventing violence against women. Bandana says that women in Nepal are weighed down by discrimination and uneven work burdens, while the 'glass ceiling' keeps them from reaching their full potential as professionals. Survivors lack support systems, and need economic opportunities that will afford them the dignity to rebuild their lives once they leave abusive relationships.