45 Organizations demand strict action against Keshav Sthapit.

April 30, 2022

At least 45 rights organizations have issued a joint statement demanding action against the Keshav Sthapit, Kathmandu Metropolis mayoral candidate from CPN-UML for 2022 local level elections. Women’s human rights organizations in Nepal have objected to the furious and harsh statement of  Keshav Sthapit, Kathmandu Metropolis mayoral candidate from CPN-UML in a public program.

“The party should immediately take action against Sthapit for making such insensitive, irresponsible statements and insulting women inhumanely in public, and cancel the mayoral candidacy,” the statement read.

Women’s human rights organizations believe that Sthapit’s statements are against the right to live with dignity, the right to freedom, the right to equality, the right against exploitation, and the right to social justice provided in the constitution.

It should be noted that Keshav Sthapit has been accused of ‘#MeToo’ by at least 2 women in 2018. However, Sthapit has been giving provocative responses to the allegations. When questioned on the same subject, he had used abusive words against the questioner in a public event. UML Chairman and Former Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli also defended Keshav Sthapit and his allegations.

What is #MeToo?
#MeToo is a social movement against sexual abuse and sexual harassment where people publicize allegations of sex crimes. The phrase “Me Too” was initially used in this context on social media in 2006, on Myspace, by sexual assault survivor and activist Tarana Burke. She aimed to empower women who had endured sexual violence by letting them know that they were not alone—that other women had suffered the same experience.

#MeToo case against Keshav Sthapit.
Rashmila Prajapati, a former employee at the Kathmandu Metropolitan City office, alleged that Sthapit fired her after she rejected his repeated advances masked as an offer for a promotion.

Similarly, a journalist and a well-known poet Ujjwala Maharjan also accused Keshav Sthapit of sexual assault.