This picture book is based on a report entitled “Across the Lines: The Impact of Nepal’s Conflict on Women” by Advocacy Forum and the International Center for Transitional Justice. The report, which is based on discussions with women and men throughout Nepal, reveals the violence suffered by women during the ten-year-long armed conflict between the security forces and the Communist Party of Nepal – Maoist (CPN-M), including the continuing effects of this violence. The report also documents the diverse roles that women played during the conflict. Finally, the report provides recommendations as to how transitional justice processes can better address women’s needs and protect their rights.
“Awakening” depicts the ways in which even prior to the conflict, women faced discrimination and inequality. During the conflict, this discrimination and inequality continued and was exacerbated. Women’s human rights were severely violated in many ways leading to enormous suffering. At the same time, there were some ways in which women’s roles in society changed favorably during the conflict.
The final portion of the picture book, in depicting the post-conflict period since 2006, demonstrates that if women do not have the opportunity to play key roles in transitional justice and human rights work, their needs and their rights will not be addressed. Therefore, the illustrations portray a vision of what society would look like if transitional justice measures and human rights advocacy succeed in ensuring non-discrimination, equality, and full respect for women’s human rights.
In the images throughout “Awakening,” ranging from the violations women suffered during the conflict to
ideas about how transitional justice can better address their needs and how Nepal can move forward in
this respect, it is the voices of women and men who participated in discussions for the above-mentioned
report that guide and speak through the illustrations.