Existing laws, social environment should be improved to increase meaningful participation of women in elections: CEC

KATHMANDU: Chief Election Commissioner Dinesh Kumar Thapaliya has said that the existing laws and social environment should be improved to increase the meaningful participation of women in elections.

Speaking in the inaugural session of an interaction on ‘Elections and Women: Efforts, Achievements and Future Action Plan of Nepal’, organized here today by the Election Commission and the UN Women in the context of International Women’s Day, Chief Commissioner Thapaliya expressed concern over the trend of giving women’s candidacy only in the positions considered binding by law and not ensuring the participation of women in the overall politics.

Thapaliya said that although the number of the people’s representatives who won the last election of Nepal is higher than the Asian countries, it cannot absorb the spirit of proportional inclusiveness of Nepal’s constitution. “In our understanding, the ability of women in politics has been devalued. They have been deprived of rights and opportunities in a competitive way,” Thapaliya said.

According to the Chief Election Commissioner, overall, the environment for women’s participation in elections has not been created enthusiastically. There have also been instances of violence against women involved in politics through social media, he added.

In order to improve all these situations, it seems that groups including the inter-party women’s network should facilitate more. At present, about 42 percent of women participate at the local level, 36 percent at the province level and 34 percent in the federal parliament.

Similarly, Election Commissioner Dr Janaki Kumari Tuladhar stressed on the need to increase the number of women voters for the meaningful participation of women in the elections and informed that necessary facilitation is being done to increase the participation on behalf of the Commission.

Ravilal Panth, secretary of the commission, said that as per Article 34 (4) of the Constitution of Nepal, representation should be based on the principle of proportional inclusion at all levels of the State, so the Commission is working to make the electoral system gender-friendly.

Patricia Fernandez, the Country Representative of UN Women in Nepal, said that since the meaningful participation of women in politics is the basic qualification of democracy. Experts Gopal Krishna Sivakoti and Saru Joshi are scheduled to present suggestions on different areas in a group discussion session to ensure a strong participation of women in elections.




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