State must empower women, says Nepal

Kathmandu, August 31 :

General secretary of the CPN-UML Madhav Kumar Nepal said today that the state must come up with special policies and programmes to guarantee women’s representation in economic, political, educational and health sectors.

Addressing a two-day national women’s conference, Nepal said the condition of women, Dalits and other backward communities would not improve without positive discrimination and intervention.

Women can also come to leadership, policymaking and decision-making levels if they are encouraged to take part in socio-economic and political activities from the grassroots level, he said, adding that not a single women held the post of deputy superintendent of the Nepal Police because of lack of women’s representation in inspectors’ rank.

He also gave some instances in some areas where Nepal is advance compared to other countries in the world — women’s voting rights, right to parental property, right to obtain citizenship certificate in mother’s name and 33 per cent reservation for women in all opportunities of the state. He reminded that women in Switzerland, which is considered to be one of the most liberal European countries, were denied voting rights till 1975 and women were denied right to education at the Oxford University till the third decade of the nineteenth century. Nepal said Nepali women were enjoying all these rights as their fundamental rights since 1950s though their economic condition has not improved due to feudal social structure.

“So, until and unless feudal structure of the state and the society is totally abolished, the condition of women will remain unchanged,” he said, adding that women should be relieved from household chores, which can be done if men in the family hold positive attitude towards women.

Nepal called upon women activists and women organisations to raise collective voice against gender discrimination, dowry system, rape and murder of women in any part of the country. Collective voice against such social evils can enhance the level of confidence of women and the state will be forced to take appropriate action against such anomalies, he said.

Chairperson of the All Nepal Women’s Association Bidhya Bhandari said the condition of women would improve in politics, employment opportunity in the state structure and socio-economic sector once the 33 per cent reservation came into effect. Around 300 leading women are taking part in the two-day conference held by GEOFNT.