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Women in Interim Government

A breakthrough in the peace process has now been happened with the formation of interim government on April 1, 2007. Now, we have a new team of 24 ministers consisting two full ministers and one state minister as women ministers with an additional strength of Maoist.

The uncertainty and uproarious political drama was swathed up but the NC’s tendency to become all powerful in a power-sharing government was seen . However, in nutshell the formation of interim government seemed to be the …

happiest movement for Nepali people because the political leaders have shown maturity and sagacity at last. The CPN-UML has sent all the new faces in interim government under the leadership of senior most women leader Sahana Pradhan. Congratulations to CPN-UML for being able to put forward an example of women leadership. Hope such example will be continue in the days to come as Nepali people are expecting the initiations from all-party. The encouraging moment has been set by the UML but the most disappointing moment has again been set as the political parties declined to bring the proportionate representation of women in interim government. The male ministers’ domination is 87% on 13% female representation. Except Janamorcha Nepal, no other parties’ women representation is in equal basis. UML became successful in contributing one woman with leadership but it declined to fulfill the range of at least 33% proportionate representation of women. Similarly, Maoist became successful in bringing one but its initiation seemed even frustrating as compared with its own initiation made in interim legislature. The worst steps were taken by both NC as there is no women representation from their side. So, how can we assume that the political parties are serious enough on women proportionate representation at state mechanism? Some parties like CPN- UML, Maoist and Janamorcha Nepal have at least tried their best to bring women in the forefront. It is not even in satisfactory level but in contrary with both NC it can be said somehow okay. We could not expect from other two parties as they were there bounded on one-minister-representation but what happened to both NC when they could bring a satisfactory level of women representation but they did not bother to take any initiation for women representation. It seemed that there concepts even now have not been changed for making proportionate representation of women at state mechanism. What should the Nepali people understand when there is no women representation from both NC? We can easily take as read that it has been happened only because of their deeply blanketed patriarchal obstinacy and psyche. If not so, do they have any elucidation on it?

During the formation of interim government some disputes aroused when considering women seniority in the cabinet of minister. Why such hilarious state always occurs when there is a name of women representation? Premier Koirala refused to put Sahana Pradhan in the seniority after him. Thus, the different 22 women groups and others organizations condemned on the feudalistic, monopoly and patriarchal thinking and behavior of octogenarian leader towards a dedicated woman who has spent her life in politics for the last six decades. If that was happened only being a woman then it is really a dishonorable and shameful condition for cultured-society and if not why Sahana Pradhan was refused by Girija Prasad Koirala in placing her on seniority. Time and again Nepali people ask the same question. Even the CPN- UML’s position seemed twosome politics that it could not stand strongly on its first position and indeed that is regrettable.

Women who cover half of the total population of Nepal cannot be considered by political parties for the sake of consideration only. We people demand for the recognition of women seniority, at least 33% proportionate women representation and not to use women only as voters and recognize only for vote bank. We must say that we are being disappointed with the behaviors of political parties. We strongly urged the Prime Minister and the political parties to fulfill our at least 33% proportionate representation of women at state mechanism and pledge all to take corrective action for women equitable participation.