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Hundreds rally in Nepalese capital for women’s rights

February 12, 2021 GMT
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A Nepalese woman holds a placard against a proposed rule which restricts foreign travel for women under 40 years during a protest outside the Department of Immigration in Kathmandu, Nepal, Thursday, Feb.11, 2021. Nepal government is proposing a new rule that says women under 40 years of age must seek consent from the family–and even the concerned ward office–to travel abroad on a visit visa. (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha)
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A Nepalese woman holds a placard against a proposed rule which restricts foreign travel for women under 40 years during a protest outside the Department of Immigration in Kathmandu, Nepal, Thursday, Feb.11, 2021. Nepal government is proposing a new rule that says women under 40 years of age must seek consent from the family–and even the concerned ward office–to travel abroad on a visit visa. (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha)

KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) — Hundreds of women’s right activists and their supporters rallied in Nepal’s capital on Friday to call for an end to violence and discrimination against women and the scrapping of a proposed law that would restrict travel for many women.

The protesters marching in the heart of Kathmandu chanted slogans demanding equality. Activists say even though the country’s constitution guarantees equal rights to women, there is much more that needs to be done to make that a reality.

They point to the proposed law that would require women under age 40 to get permission from their family and local government to travel to the Middle East or Africa as a violation of human rights. The government has said the regulation would help stop human trafficking, but has pointed out is just a proposal and not a law.

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The protesters tried to march to the prime minister’s office but were blocked by riot police and barbed wire barricades. There were no clashes or violence.

Reshu Aryal, a rights activist in the rally, said she wanted to protest what she saw as police and official indifference to discrimination and sexual violence against women and girls.