Women hope to be on their mettleThe 22nd convention of All Nepal National Free Students’ Union may be a milestone for female leadership as four women have announced their candidacy for the posts of chairperson, vice-chairperson and secretary.
The 22nd convention of All Nepal National Free Students’ Union may be a milestone for female leadership as four women have announced their candidacy for the posts of chairperson, vice-chairperson and secretary.
Conventionally, major posts of the CPN-UML’s student wing have often been not given to female leaders. Nabina Lama has announced her candidacy for the top post.
According to female leaders, this is a good sign for women in politics, who are either seen as passive beneficiaries or are simply nominated. “I’m delighted to see so many women competing. I also hope this isn’t a one-off and this trend of women competing for top positions continues,” said former ANNFSU Chairperson Ram Kumari Jhankri. The two-day convention, during which the union delegates vote to elect their new leadership, kicked off on Thursday. Apart from the incumbent General Secretary Lama’s bid for the chairperson, Radhika Khatiwada and Sunita Baral are vying for general secretary. Kamala Bohara runs for secretary while Nisha Adhikari vies to be in disciplinary committee. Lama’s competitor is Deepak Gautam. Garima Shah, a UML leader, said the number of women in the fray has helped break the myth that affirmative provisions like reservation will restrict women to be passive beneficiaries.
“You need a couple of elections to know the nitty-gritty of politics. It’s good to see these women do it from the grassroots of the union,” added Shah. Up to 1,700 representatives will elect a Central Working Committee for two years. Lama, if elected, will be the second woman to chair the union after Jhankri.
The union is affiliated to UML, the party that played a crucial role in electing women as the country’s President and the House Speaker.