Nepalese Women Seek Greater Political Role

Published: Wed 25 Apr 2007 12:37 AM
Nepalese Women Seek Greater Political Role
By Kamala Sarup
The role of Nepalese women in politics and economics is increasing. Earlier, there was 5 percent, now 33 percent in political participation. But, this is only in a paper not in practical use. Equality and justice can be maintained, if there was 50 percent rights in both politics and economics affairs. Even, women comprise at least 50 percent and more than 95 percent of Nepali women are effected by Maoists war. Since conflict started, rape and kidnapping have increased. Prostitution increased. Kidnap and torture still take place. Forceful recruitment of young women in the Maoist force is another serious issue.
During 1980's participation of Nepali women in the political sectors was very low especially in the economic sectors. Though as an impact of International Women's year and decade, there had been started a discussion and debate regarding women's rights. In order change the socio economic and political status of Nepalese women as well as to project their new role and image the women status, the role played by the women in the development of the country is generally very feeble and insignificant. The nation has yet to realize the importance of the eradication of women's discrimination. Involvement of education, politics and in the economic sector is very little hence rural women are incapable of fighting for their rights.
Even after the political change in 1990, some women got an opportunity to organize themselves. It was a good sign that more and more women's organizations were coming to support women to express their problems and experiences but after a few years they disappeared. Nowadays some other women organizations believe that their duty is fulfilled if a small program for women is provided. But this does not bring any change in the status of women in Nepal.
It is true, nowadays women have been encouraged in political affairs. But they don't participate in politics due to parochial culture, particularly in the villages. Women are recruiting in the army and other forces are positive, but still women's participation in the existing politics are very nominal. This applies to both urban politics and and rural politics. Many women avoid politics, as there is no adequate representation and participation of women in the national politics.
There are millions of Nepalese women who live below the poverty line, and are struggling from day to day to make end meet. Not at all, women are the ones who have suffered the most, and in most rural societies they are the ones who hold the family together.
Maoists were constantly saying that they will undertake further efforts to develop women's status. But the Maoist can change their color and goal in the current politics, because, they understand to adapt and adjust according to the changing environment. It is this aspect that, they came from jungle to cities. In spite of their inclusion in the present government, they are in chains. Their legs are fastening within cantonments, hands are fastening in a container, and mouths are closed in the current cabinet by the treaties and the UNMIN. Nevertheless, they are free to come out from cantonments when they need.
Maoists are not trustworthy as both political and social partners, because, present they are running into water, fire, air, and sky not on earth. There are misunderstanding, misconception, mistrust, and mist of tension among themselves due to absence of idiosyncratic leadership.
Women empowerment depends also on the wealth of a country. Women empowerment is key to social and economic development. Women generally have more discipline than men. Good economic program would help them straighten their financial needs and maintain fiscal discipline. Women are not only one of the founders of Nepalese culture and society but also in all the countries of the world. The creation begins through women. After birth, growth, young, old, death, and even after death, Nepali women have played an unprecedented role in shaping and safeguarding to Nepalese culture and society.
Thus, good economic program could help increasing the income of the women and it helps to reduce the poverty. On the other hand, Nepalese women's consensus in Nepal is to establish stable government for all-round development and freedom by providing equal opportunities, both in rights and duties. Nepalese women are searching for dynamic new leader.
This article was originally published by Nepali Journalist and Story Writer Kamala Sarup is an editor of She is specialising in in-depth reporting and writing on Peace, Anti War, Women, Terrorism, Democracy, and Development. Some of her publications are: Women's Empowerment (Booklet). Prevention of trafficking in women through media,(Book) Efforts to Prevent Trafficking in for Media Activism (Media research). Two Stories collections. Her interests include international conflict resolution, cross-cultural communication, philosophy, feminism, political, socio-economic and literature. Her current plans are to move on to humanitarian work in conflict areas in the near future. She also is experienced in organizational and community development.

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