Creating a Safe and Violence free environment for women working in the Entertainment sector

Creating a Safe and Violence free environment for women working in the Entertainment sector (Cabin and Dance restaurant) of Kathmandu

The lack of widely distributed educational channel throughout the country in addition to the patriarchal society makes the situation for women more difficult in getting education and other bread wining technical skills. The economic condition of the country adds to this difficulty when the family is not able to feed and the girl who is semi-literate; unskilled is forced to generate some income. Thus, due to non accessibility of job opportunities and in immense pressure to feed their family many young girls land up in establishments like dance and cabin restaurants were they are extremely vulnerable to sexual abuse and exploitation. Many of these young girls are those who fled from their rural villages to escape the impact of armed conflict. Without education or skills they are often compelled to work in such entertainment sectors for survival.

The cabin and dance restaurants in Kathmandu are like "Men's Clubs", whose sole purpose is to provide various entertainments for their male clients. Estimates suggest that there are around 30,000 women and girls only in Kathmandu who are working in the Entertainment Sector. They are paid only 3000 - 5000 NPR or 40 - 70 $ per month. Most of parents are never told about their profession, others let their daughters go on as long as the money keeps coming. It is in these restaurants that the girls experience their first exploitation at work. They have nowhere to go and no one to whom they can complain. In order to address the needs of such girls Saathi started working in the entertainment sector of Kathmandu from 2004. Initially when the program started the main component of the program was focused on outreach, counselling, empowerment/life skill trainings, sensitization programs and referral services. Save the children Norway helped Saathi lay a foundation of the program. In 2006 The Asia Foundation funded the project and also supported the new component of gainful employment opportunity. World Education also supported Saathi with activities like Modular and Seep classes along with vocational trainings and reintegration. Since, inception Saathi has worked with Individual donors as well as bilateral agencies to give continuity to the program. The agencies that supported/support the entertainment industry program are Save the Children Norway, The World Education, Asia Foundation, Smart Pharma, The Danish Embassy and Terres des hommes. Saathi is running 2 operational Drop in Centres (DIC) in Koteshwar and Kalanki. The Koteshwar DIC covers highly susceptible areas like Koteshwar, Gwarko, Satdobato, Lagankhel, Chapagaudobato, Jadibuti, Sinamangal, Gairigaun, Kadaghari, Narepat and New Baneshwar. The Kalanki DIC is active in areas including Kalanki, Kalimati, Balkhu, Swayambhu, Sitapaila, Naikat, Satungal, Lampati, RaviBhawan and Bajal.

Highlights of the activities running under the Programme -

  • Outreach to identify different operational restaurant in the working area and rapport building with the restaurant owners.
  • Networking with different NGO working in this sector through meetings and workshops. · Operational DIC in Koteshwor and Kalanki which caters to different needs of the members (restaurant workers through counselling, non formal education, tailoring classes).
  • The members are identified for different vocational trainings from the DIC on the basis of their interest. The members are enrolled to the different vocational training institutes and their progress is strictly monitored.
  • Job placement for the members after the completion of the training, through building strong network with different stakeholders.
  • Awareness programs are conducted every month on different issues pertaining to labour law, safe migration, reproductive health, life skill trainings, domestic violence, human trafficking, gender based violence etc. The awareness training is also accompanied by audio and visual aid to enhance better understanding of the subject matter.
  • School Enrolment of students who are members of the DIC especially minor and the children of the members.
  • Withdrawal of minors from the entertainment industry through different intervention programs especially through school enrolments.
  • Sensitization of the owners of the restaurant on the plight of their employees and also on labour law
  • ; Clinical supervision and Case sharing for the capacity building of the counsellor in partnership with TPO
  • Capacity Building Training of the staffs on social work, mediation, wenlido, safe migration, first aid etc.
  • Prevention through awareness: Street Drama and Dance that spoke stopping violence against women (conceptualised, directed and performed by the entertainment sector staff), and awareness/ sensitization training on safe migration liked with internal and external trafficking, domestic violence and violence against women. The programs were conducted in Lalitpur, Kathmandu, Bhaktapur, Ramechhap, Dolakha, Kavre, Sindhupalchowk.

Total number of Beneficiaries through various trainings conducted under the program in 2010



Stakeholders provided with services through DIC


Vocational training

347 (out of which 70% has been placed in jobs)

Formal education

21 minors

Non Formal education


Life Skill Training/ Empowerment trainings


Rescued and Reintegrated


Seed Money for establishment of small business


Referrals to Saathi women and children shelter





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