Kathmandu, March 20

Though the constitution has provided different rights to women, they have not been able to enjoy these rights. Especially, women activists have alleged that the government itself is creating difficulties for women in availing their rights.

During an interaction on women and children in the Civil Code organised by Child workers in Nepal, advocate Meera Dhungana said there are different Acts and laws included in the civil code which directly affects the rights of women. While amending the code, certain issues must be removed or amended so that it will be possible to focus on the welfare of the nation.

“This is a patriarchal country and men occupy a higher position, which has made it difficult for women to rise to positions equal to that of men, if not higher. Women needs lots of confidence to reach higher levels and this can be only possible only with the help of men,” said Dhungana. Only the effort of women won’t enable them to get their rights.

She informed that the code has mentioned that single women, divorced women, and other married women will have to give back their property if they marry another man. “This shows that their right to personal property is conditional. This act must be amended as women too have right to property.”

Similarly, women who divorce or get married to other men have to protect their child till the child reaches the age of five and after that she has to hand over the child to her husband as per the law. “Women who give birth to a child do not have any right to take their child with them as the woman is considered incapable of rearing the baby.  This provision violates the rights of women to conceive a baby of her own will and rear the baby.”

According to advocate Purna Shrestha, more than 81 out of 1,000 adolescent girls have given birth in the country. As per the census data with the Central Bureau of Statics, 75 per cent of women in the country have married before they were 20 years old and 75 per cent women who married during the census period have just reached 20 this year.

She informed that there is no certainty of marriageable age with regard to women in the code. It has mentioned that a women can marry only at the age of 20, while they can marry at the age of 18 if their parents or the girl herself wants to do so. “The act should be amended and should conform with the marriageable age of women.”