Provide allowance to single women regardless of age, SC tells govt

KATHMANDU: The Supreme Court (SC) today directed the government authorities to provide allowances for single women irrespective of age. Thus far, single women above 60 years old were only eligible to claim the allowance.

A division bench of Justices Khil Raj Regmi and Girish Chandra Lal issued the order to the Prime Minister's Office and Cabinet, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Law and Justice and the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare to provide the allowance to single women (widow) even if they are under 60 years old.

The bench has issued the verdict to narrow down the discrimination among women responding to a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed last year.

The bench also told the government authorities to formulate a policy keeping in mind difficult situation faced by single women; resources of the state, their property, employment and other interconnected factors, including pension and income.

Demanding an intervention, advocates Kabita Pandey, Meera Dhungana and rights activist Lily Thapa and some other single women had moved the apex court on December 22, 2009.

The petitioners argued that since the Constitution guaranteed the right to equality, the government policy was discriminatory for it had set an age bar for women to enjoy the single women allowance.