Conference on gender equality, social justice begins

Lalitpur, September 22

A two-day international conference on ‘Gender Equality and Social justice’ to promote women in politics began in Lalitpur today.

The conference is organised by Parliamentary Committee on Social Justice and Human Rights in collaboration with Joint Mechanism for Political Party Strengthening, and other national and international partners.

Inaugurating the conference, Chairperson of the committee Sushil Kumar Shrestha said the new constitution of Nepal endorsed through the Constituent Assembly has ensured women rights in all aspects. “The new constitution will also be helpful in eliminating gender-based violence and discrimination,” he said. Shrestha also stressed on increasing women’s participation in decision-making bodies.

In order to enrich wide-ranging discussions on various dimensions of the theme of the conference, a number of prominent political leaders and experts from Bhutan, Denmark, Myanmar and Nepal are attending the conference.

The conference will discuss the importance of engaging men in the equality debate; strategies utilised to overcome challenges to increase representation and recognition of women in the political arena; skills required to become a leader (through the sharing of personal stories of female leaders); status of gender equality within political parties in respective countries and examples of reform, to come up with practical recommendations for Social Justice and Human Rights Committee to advance the cause.

Nepali participants of the conference include members of the committee, political leaders and representatives of civil society and international organisations. Among international participants, there are 16 delegates from Bhutan, including its first female minister, 10 representatives from Myanmar and four delegates from Denmark.

Bhutanese Minister for Works and Human Settlement and Chairperson of National Commission for Women and Children Lyonpo Dorji Choden; Mya Thaung, chair of Women and Children Rights Committee, Myanmar; and Manu Sareen, former minister for equality, Denmark, are participating in the event.

The conference aims at exploring ways to encourage more women to enter politics to take leadership roles in key institutions and promote participation and representation of women in the political arena.

The forum is expected to generate a range of practical recommendations, which promote gender equality in political parties. The conference will end tomorrow by issuing a Kathmandu Declaration.