Several of the important development achievements in Nepal in recent years affect the lives of children and women more than anyone else: the 40 percent reduction in under five mortality from 1991-2001, the increase in primary school enrolment by 30 per cent from 1995 to 2005— girls’ enrolment increasing by 50 per cent in the same period—and access to water in rural areas increasing by 65 per cent from 1991-2001. The ongoing conflict threatens to reverse or halt progress in these and other areas that are fundamental to the well-being of children and women in Nepal.
We have seen schools become a place for recruitment or indoctrination. Travel and movement has become an exposure to interrogation and harassment. Family life has been disrupted by fear and even direct violence. In response, to ensure their safety, families may decide to take their children out of school or not enroll them in the first place. They may be more reluctant to seek basic health services if it requires travel. At the same time, the conflict affects service delivery. Schools have been closed temporarily both nationally and locally. Health and education services in remote villages are often running with significantly reduced support and supervision.