Women lawmakers demand 50pc reservation in Parliament

Kathmandu, November 1

Women lawmakers today demanded 50 per cent reservation for women in the Parliament. They demanded that elections in Nepal be conducted in a gender-friendly manner. Researches, in-depth discussions should be carried out for inclusion of women in leadership positions,they said.

It is difficult for women to get leadership positions through proportional representation system. Therefore, this election system should be revoked, said Pushpa Bhusal, a lawmaker.

Speaking during an event organised by Media House in collaboration with Parliamentary Support Project, United Nations Development Programme in the capital today, lawmakers shared their experiences of being women in the Parliament. They said their voices were not heard even within their own parties.

“When it comes to passing bills from the Parliament, questions raised by us are often ignored,” said Bedimaya Ghale.

Women lawmakers also demanded that the budget allocated for activities related to women be increased.

Sharing their ideas on what women’s role should be in surveillance of gender-friendly parliamentary practices, they said that surveillance should be done at three levels — policy, financial and on-site monitoring.

“Women lawmakers can raise issues during zero hour and special hour. They also need to show active participation in discussions related to bills, registration for amendment of bills and so on,” said Khimlal Devkota, an advocate and lawmaker.

The lawmakers also discussed their roles, problems and effective representation in the Parliament.

The lawmakers demanded that Nepali citizenship be issued in the name of mother too. “Women should not be discriminated on the basis of her marital status. It should be the choice of the children to obtain citizenship either in the name of mother or father. Women should principally advocate citizenship rights,” added Bhusal.

Sharing their experience of being  parliamentary members, women lawmakers said they were learning by doing. Discussions with legal professionals and experts are necessary to enhance our skills and gain maturity,” said Radhika Tamang, deputy speaker of the Provincial Assembly of Province 3.

“Women lawmakers should raise their voices on proposals of stricture, attention motion and adjournment,” said Devkota.