United Nations
Information Centre | Nepal
Women's Political Participation at the Sub-national Level in Nepal
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Over the last two decades, Nepal has undergone monumental political change, culminating in the Constitutional Assembly elections in May 2008. The changes have been driven by popular mobilisation, most notably the popular mass movement of April 2006 – Jana Andolan II – and by the military mobilisation of the Maoists (UCPN Maoist). Women have played an important role in establishing the power of the streets and were also active in the Maoist movement that had equality between the sexes as one of its objectives. Women, however, did not participate to the same extent as men did1 and leadership positions were mainly held by men. For example in Jana Andolan II, 33 per cent of men in Nepal and 14 per cent of women participated (Hachhethu, Kumar et al. 2008). Nevertheless, almost four years after the Constitutional Assembly elections, high caste men have continued to hold sway in the political parties. At the same time, the Constitutional Assembly has offered a unique platform for advancing the rights of women. This broad based mobilisation process created new political spaces for women and the Constitutional Assembly elections offered a platform for women to work out a more comprehensive political agenda. The female members of the Constitutional Assembly have fought for 50 per cent representation at all levels of state institutions, equality in citizenship, the right to inheritance, the right to reproductive health, and special provisions for women in health, education and employment (IDEA and NLS 2012). Nepal signed the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in 1991. The participation of women has to a large extent been discussed within the broader framework of social inclusion. Exclusion in Nepal has been based on gender, ethnicity, caste, religion, and lately, also region. In the post 1990 discourse on exclusion, women, Dalits (caste), Janajatis (ethnicity), Muslims (religion), and Madhesis (region) are referred to as the excluded. For example, in a survey on the state of democracy in Nepal, 2007, 88 per cent of citizens perceived women as socially excluded (Hachhethu, Kumar et al. 2008). Perhaps not surprisingly a large majority of the survey respondents backed the use of special provisions in the Constitution for backward communities.

#PoliticalParticipationOfWomen #SubNationalLevel #Nepal #WomenRights #PoliticalParties #RightToVote
UNWOMEN, NIBR ,   (2012 )
Type / Script:
Publication in English
Thematic Group:
 UNWOMEN : Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women
01.01.00  -  Political Conditions, Institutions, Movements
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