Poverty and patriarchal practices (also reinforced by the legal system) leave Nepalese women with few good options when they come in contact with the criminal justice system. Women face systematic discrimination, particularly in rural areas and are especially vulnerable to coercion and abuse.
In August 2018, a new provision of the Criminal Procedure Code was signed into law. It specifies that the government will appoint counsel only for accused persons facing more than 10 years imprisonment.
This leaves the vast majority of poor accused of petty crimes ineligible for government legal aid services and counting on The International Legal Foundation (The ILF) for quality representation.