Of the almost 23 million Nepalese who live in rural zones (85 per cent of the population), almost 7 ½ million are women under the age of 50. Many of them have received no education: the rate of female illiteracy in the country is in fact steady at 57.4 per cent, while male illiteracy reaches 75 per cent. Although Nepal has signed various international treaties in favour of parity, many promises have yet to be implemented. This is the case, for example, of the Convention for the Elimination of Every Form of Discrimination, ratified in 1991. In the country violence against women is the main cause of death among those between 19 and 44 years of age: war, cancer and car accidents come next. According to the data provided by the Hackatón Organization for Violence Against Women, founded in Kathmandu in 2013, 22 per cent of women between the ages of 15 and 49 suffer violence at least once, and 43 per cent are harassed in their workplace, while there are between 5,000 to 12,000 victims of the slave trade, with about 75 per cent of the latter – sold as prostitutes – not yet 18 years old. The data supplied by the World Health organization completes the picture: the rate of maternal mortality in childbirth in Nepal is of 190 women per 100,000 live births. Only 15 per cent of women have access to health-care centres.
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