Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Women empowerment: Policies and Participation

Women and women related issues have always been a serious subject matter from NGOs, to parliament and political parties to ministries. In context of Nepal, after the democratic movement of 1990 AD people thought that there would be the establishment of newer Nepal where people of all sex, age, caste, and geographical area will be given equal priority. Considering to those hopes, certain law were made regarding those aspects that remained only as law but was never formulated. Especially in the case of women and children, the government and people was always irresponsible. That law related with women was either insufficient or not well performed in works. Despite being in the track of development, Nepali women do not have equal share in the development process.

As per the constitution of 1990AD, a provision for 5% seats in the parliamentary election was made compulsion for all the political parties. Although this provision was made for encouraging women's participation in political sector they were still lagging behind in service and decision making sectors. Despite the provision made by constitution, only 3.9% women were elected on the election of 1991AD, which increased to 5% in 1999AD. But even those 5% of women were unable to represent the women occupying 'half the sky' of the country. Women were still deprived of proper education, job opportunities and were compelled to get involved within the domestic works. They were under their father or husband as there was no law that addressed the violence done against them. Many incidents of domestic violence, girl trafficking and social humiliations were seen and heard but there was even the lack of proper punishment for those people.

Now, after one decade and half of that democratic movement, various laws have been made to address women related issues. Recently, the declaration has been made by the government, which states that 33% seat has been reserved for women in parliament and all other government offices as well. The question is in its own place either that declaration will be implemented or not but it has been proved as a milestone in the development of women's status and also as an opportunity if they can show their ability. With the development of the country, females are also getting education facilities. As soon as the government declared free education up to secondary level for women, the parents also admitted their girl child in Government schools. It has made the newer generation more educated, competent and confident. They are able to tackle with any problems and are also able to compete for the various posts for work with men. Similarly, the position of women has been uplifted after the establishment of National Women's commission in 2001 AD, which focuses on their welfare and progress.

With the increment of pace towards development, it has been realized that women are equally able and competent to walk along with men. Women empowerment has always remained as a basic gender issue which is now increasing with their participation on the decision making level and the policies made for it. Participation on education and the opportunities has made them sensitized them about their rights and capacities which really is a path shower towards development.

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