Majority of women still unable to enjoy rights as equal citizens, say activists

Kathmandu, December 5

The country has achieved a significant milestone in terms of gender equality and women empowerment, the majority of women are still unable to enjoy rights as equal citizens, according to women rights activists.

Speaking at a discussion jointly organised by the government and the European Union, women activists said women were lagging behind in many sectors due to gender inequality and increasing cases of violence.

The programme is part of the 16-day global campaign against gender-based violence and was organised to mark International Human Rights Day that falls on December 10.

Speaking at the programme, Veronica Cody, ambassador of the European Union Delegation to Nepal, said Nepal had made significant progress in ensuring gender equality. She lauded Nepal for making inclusive political and economic policies. However, she also stressed the need to end all sorts of disparities and violence against women.

Speaker of the House of Representatives Krishna Bahadur Mahara said securing 41 per cent seats for women at local levels and 32 per cent at the provincial and federal level was  a big stride towards women empowerment and gender equality.

Member of National Human Rights Commission Mohna Ansari said although law had ensured equality, there still remained a lot to do to bring about changes in women’s socio-economic status. “As long as each and every women, who account for 51 per cent of Nepal’s population, are not included in the mainstream development, the nation cannot achieve prosperity,” he added.