UML Chair Oli inaugurates South Asian Women’s Conference

Kathmandu, August 6

South Asian Women’s Conference began in Kathmandu today with the objective of strengthening women’s participation in local governance.

The event was inaugurated by CPN-UML Chair KP Sharma Oli. The conference will develop an advocacy strategy for women’s participation in local governance. As many as 70 participants, including lawmakers, civil society representatives and women rights activists from South Asian countries, participated in the event.

Speaking at the programme, CPN-UML Chair Oli said many programmes introduced for women empowerment turned out to be ineffective as society members could not free themselves from narrow mindedness in terms of gender equality.

He added that despite these failures, Nepal had done a commendable job in protecting and strengthening women rights.

Oli further said the CPN-UML was fighting for the rights of the poor, Dalits and women. “Of the 5,389 elected Dalit representatives in the recently held local election, 47 per cent are women,” he informed.

According to a data map— Women in Politics— launched by Inter Parliamentary Union and UN Women last month, Nepal has topped other South Asian countries in terms of women’s participation in governance.

Nepal has 29.6 per cent women representatives in its Parliament. Among the SAARC nations, Afghanistan (27.7 per cent) ranked second in terms of women’s participation in governance followed by Pakistan (20.6 per cent), Bangladesh (20.3 per cent), India (11.8 per cent), Bhutan (8.5 per cent) and Maldives (5.9 per cent). However, Nepal ranked seventh in terms of women ministers.

In a two-day event, representatives from Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka  will discuss women’s participation in local governance in South Asia and current situation, problems and the possible solutions in each country.