Butwal’s women leaders burdened with gender-based discrimination in governanceWomen leaders stress the need to condemn gender-based discrimination from all quarters.
Women leaders in Butwal say gender-based discrimination is rife in politics. Women representing various parties across the political spectrum echoed the sentiment during a women-centric conference—Aguwa Mahila Bhela (or Conference of Leading Women)—that took place in Butwal on Saturday.
One of the speakers at the conference, Radha Kumari Gyawali, who is a lawmaker and the central committee member of the Nepal Communist Party, said women are discriminated against by the proponents of patriarchy.
“Many male leaders find it hard to accept us as leaders and refuse to provide us with leadership opportunities,” Gyawali said. “This has created a severe impact on individuals, family, society, party and the state.”
Stressing on the need to condemn gender-based discrimination in politics, she said, “We shouldn’t accept any kind of discrimination. Rather, we need to protest and discuss,” she said. “If we exert pressure from the ground level, then we can change things.”
Likewise, Than Kumari Thapa, a member of a provincial parliament, said women are still treated as “second class” citizens within the party ranks. “We are not given any opportunity to show our abilities,” Thapa said.
Meanwhile, Deepa BK, a member of the Social Committee at the Provincial Parliament, said the lack of participation from women in decision making and budget allocation in the local levels has hindered development.
“Even though women lawmakers raise issues of equal participation in development projects, our voices are often ignored,” BK said.