Women leaders want 33 pc seats in interim parliament secured

Kathmandu, November 26:

Women activists and women leaders of various political parties today stressed the need to prepare themselves to secure 33 per cent representation of women in the constituent assembly, before the formulation of election law and clear definitions of proportional and mixed electoral systems.

Speaking at a programme titled ‘Women Constitution-Makers and Lawmakers: Getting Adequate and Effective Women Representation’ organised by the Centre for Women and Politics (CWAP), Sarita Giri, central member of the Nepal Sadbhawana Party (Anandidevi), said: “The historic agreement between the seven-party alliance and the CPN-Maoist on November 8 is mum about 33 per cent representation of women in parliament.”

“The agreement has only mentioned women’s proportional representation under mixed electoral system. In this context, we need to pressurise the government and political parties to secure women’s proportional representation and 33 per cent seats in the constituent assembly,” said Giri.

Election commissioner Usha Nepal said: “Political parties’ commitment and their seriousness as well as mobilisation of women leaders within their parties determine their representation in the interim parliament.” She said civil society and women’s organisations should pressurize the government and the political parties for securing the seats.

Professor Jill Cottrell, who has worked as an advisor to the constitution drafting committees in Maldives, Afghanistan, Kenya and Iraq, said: “Political parties must have internal democracy, and rules about candidate selection need to be transparent.”

ANWA’s drive

KATHMANDU: The All Nepal Women’s Association (ANWA) launched a four-month campaign on Saturday to ensure 33 per cent women’s representation in all the state mechanism and proportional participation of women in the constituent assembly (CA) election, Bidhya Devi Bhandari, president of ANWA, said on Sunday. She appealed to the Election Commission not to give validity to the political parities that do not have 33 per cent participation of women. — HNS