Women Commission in care of lone memberAt a time when the country boasts of three women in leading positions, the National Women Commission, a government entity formed to work for women, has been left in the care of a single member in the past five months.
At a time when the country boasts of three women in leading positions, the National Women Commission, a government entity formed to work for women, has been left in the care of a single member in the past five months.
The new constitution recognises the NWC as a constitutional body. Bhagwati Ghimire is the lone member of the commission. In the absence of officials, the commission has been dysfunctional as it cannot take any decision. The NWC can have a maximum of six members.
Rights defenders argue that the absence of officials has seriously hampered the commission’s day-to-day activities.
After the tenure of Commission Chairperson Shekh Chandtara ended, Spokesperson Manu Humagain worked as its acting chief for a month. After the four-year tenure of Humagain and two other members—Urmila Devi Bishwokarma and Dhaneshwori Kumari Chaudhari—ended in March, Ghimire has been designated the acting chairperson. Ghimire said that the absence of commissioners has crippled the NWC so much so that women who come up with cases seeking legal support had not been looked after.
She, however, claims that the commission has completed its major task of amending laws in line with the constitution adopted last year.
Chief work of the commission is to formulate policies and programmes for women’s welfare and to forward them to the government for implementation.
The commission also conducts research on gender equality, women’s empowerment and provides legal assistance to women suffering from gender-based violence and other harmful social practices.