Concerns raised over low participation of womenThe Nepali Congress could only manage around 19 percent participation of women representatives in its general convention against the constitutional provision of at least 33 percent. The Kathmandu Post spoke to 10 female convention representatives for comments.
The Nepali Congress could only manage around 19 percent participation of women representatives in its general convention against the constitutional provision of at least 33 percent. The Kathmandu Post spoke to 10 female convention representatives for comments.
Bishnu Kumari Kandel
I also have reservations over the lack of women representatives in Nepali Congress’s current general convention. Although the constitution mandates 33 percent participation of women in all sectors of the country, the same could not be ensured in our party. We could have easily increased the participation of women if we had made a certain number of women representatives compulsory from each constituency. We will raise this issue in closed session meetings. Ideally, women should constitute even more proportion of party representatives than 33 percent.
Women have been repressed in all sectors of Nepal. Women constitute 51 percent of the country’s population but they are not represented proportionally in national organs. We are also protesting within the party for righting this wrong. The country can only prosper by respecting the role and importance of women. So we will fight to ensure the rights that women should enjoy not only in the party but all over the country.
Ensuring 33 percent participation of women in political parties is only limited in talks. The patriarchal society still prohibits women to become active in the society. We have to fight to change this negative tendency. Women should be given plenty of opportunities for contributing to the nation. Women leaders have raised the issue during this general convention and we will continue doing so until we succeed. We will not rest until we take our right of fair participation.
In the general convention, all of us women representatives are united to guarantee the 33 percent quota reserved by the constitution in political parties. Although, we have continuously been raising this issue, our voice was not taken seriously. But we will fight to change that and hopefully the general convention addresses the issue and we will not have to discuss on this next time around.
Parbata DC (Chaudhary)
Lawmaker from Dang-1 and Central Committee member
We could not ensure fair representation of women in the general convention due to patriarchal thinking that is rife in the party. Despite promising to address the concern time and again, our leaders have not deliver in practice. High-handedness of top leaders in selecting convention representatives is to blame for this. We could not amend our party’s statute this time according to the new constitution due to lack of time. But we will change this and the number of women representatives will definitely increase next time around.
I have stressed this time and again that we should bring as many women representatives as possible into the party but could not ensure that. The talks of giving women equal rights is only limited to talks. Not only in our party, women have to be adequately represented in all sectors of the country. They have to be provided equal opportunity in education and development. Although women outnumber men in Nepal, they are still lagging behind in opportunity.
We have tried to ensure as many women representation as possible. In the central committee, there is quota for 12 women and if we could ensure one woman representative from each province, the total number would have been convincing. But we have to keep struggling for making Nepali Congress a women-friendly party which guarantees gender parity. This should be ensured not only in the lower rungs of the party but also in top leadership positions.
The reach of women in party positions is very low. It is only through reservation that we have achieved whatever number of women representatives there are. By continuous struggle, we have to increase women participation and we should not be content with 33 percent. We have to fight for ensuring 51 percent of women representation in Nepali Congress. This should be ensured everywhere from the central committee to the grassroots level.
Indigenous Nationality Association of Nepal
We could have increased the number of women if the quota reserved for them was increased. But our party’s statute failed to ensure this. As all the top leaders and candidates vying for various posts are busy in asking for votes, this issue remained on the back burner. Therefore, all women should unite and fight for our right. We can ensure fair participation of women if we raise the issue collectively and make sure the problem will not repeat in the future.
The party has failed to ensure adequate number of women representatives. There is a tendency to stop women from being active in party politics although the constitution has guaranteed this right. Top leaders have failed to amend the party statute to incorporate this right. But we will raise this issue during the general convention. We have to ensure that women of all ethnicity are well represented in all organs of the party and the country.