Kathmandu, April 22:

At a time when political parties are active in the reconstruction and democratisation of the state, Women’s Campaign for Equality and Just Peace today finalised the Nepali Women’s Charter for Equality. The charter is the outcome of a three-day meeting with 360 women from 75 districts.

A 23-point charter, which would be submitted to the government and the political parties, demands ensuring at least 33 per cent of candidates in the proportional election system and the first-past-the-post system, proposed for the election to constituent assembly.

Other points featuring in the charter include a call to ensure equality of women in every sector, prohibition of violence and discrimination against women on the grounds of gender, caste, religion, community and language by introducing effective legal system and making representation of one-third women in all the government sectors, especially in the cabinet.

Speaking at the programme, Sarita Giri, central member of NSP (A) said the charter has come at an appropriate time when the political parties are preparing their political manifesto for the upcoming constituent assembly election.

“We will do our best to include all points mentioned in the charter. When the statute ensures the rights of women, democracy will run its way smoothly,” said Giri, and suggested including the issue of federalism and to voice the issues of illiterate, Dalit, Madeshi women and rural women farmers in the charter.

Minister for Physical Planning and Works, Hisila Yami said that the charter has missed the military affairs related to women. “When democratisation of the police and army is left out in restructuring the state, women are the first to be the victims. There should be a policy to ensure 50 per cent women in the police and army in the new Nepal.”

Yami said that decentralisation of the government through the federal structure would empower women by ensuring employment opportunities to women living in the rural and grass root areas.

NC leader Nara Hari Acharya said parties must be checked if they have incorporated the points from the charter.