No party for 33 per cent women

KATHMANDU: Of the four national parties represented in the Parliament, none have been able to honour the provision of including 33 per cent women members in their respective central committees.

In the recently held elections, five parties had crossed the threshold required to get recognised as national party The number had come down to four after unification of the CPN Maoist Centre with the CPN-UML.

The debate came into fore as the largest national party, the Nepal Communist Party (NCP) failed to represent 33 per cent women in its central committee while registering the newly formed, unified party at the Election Commission.

The Election Commission, at first registration attempt, had asked the party to correct the documents and come back with a revised list of central committee members, ensuring the provision of inclusion.

However, on Wednesday, the Commission 'quietly' accepted the registration documents and accorded recognition to NCP (NCP).

A 441 member central committee of NCP (NCP) has only 75 women members, 17.6 per cent of the total number.

Nepali Congress has 16 female members (21.3 per cent) in its 75-member central working committee.

Rastriya Janata Party has 129 women (15.8 per cent) in a jumbo 815-member working committee.

Likewise, the fourth largest party, Federal Socialist Forum Nepal has only 28 female members in a 268-member committee.

There have been reports of the Prime Minister asking the female party members, demanding to ensure 33 per cent representation, to 'shut it' at the moment and keep party's interest above these 'vague agendas'. The Prime Minister or the party is yet to offer a clarification on this issue.

The then Maoist Centre Chair and now Nepal Communist Party (NCP)'s co-chair Pusha Kamal Dahal's silence over the matter is especially shocking given that it was the then CPN Maoists that vehemently re-introduced the ideas of inclusion, rights of the minorities and 'quantum leap' in Nepali political scene.