Discussion Program on “Women's Meaningful Participation on Local Election”

Jagaran Nepal organized a discussion program on "Women's Meaningful Inclusive Participation on Local election" on 17th March, 2017 in Union House, Anamnagar under the project "Strengthening women’s participation especially from marginalized communities in local governance, decision making, elections and politics (SMARCO)". The program was organized with an objective to create collective pressure for meaningful inclusive women's participation in local election.

The program highlighted the importance of election which can play a pivotal role for leadership development and democracy and so the election should be accomplished in a gender friendly and inclusive manner. The founding president and senior activists of Jagaran Nepal, Ms. Sharmila Karki said that although arrangements are made for one woman candidate among the candidates for local level chairperson/vice-chairperson;mayor/deputy mayor; it should be clarified how it may be assured in the result itself and so insisted to everyone that it is important to start playing roles from now in order to help as many women candidates as possible win.

Ms. Subechhya Bindu from Working Women Journalists (WWJ) expressed that there should be continous lobby about laws, by-laws and code of conduct of local election in local level which would help women candidate win the major post in local election. Similarly, Ms. Durga Ghimire, Chairperson of Shanti Malika mentioned that collective pressure must be given for the selection of right women candidate by giving the example of various countries where women’s participation in politics has helped in reducing corruption and women violence. Similarly, she mentioned the importance of central and local network mobilization for local election.

Ms. Yashodha Devi Timilsina, Information Commissioner emphasized that information is a power and hence, informative materials should be disseminated by media regarding local election for effective women participation. She also added that men engagement is equally important for making the programs successful regarding women participation in politics. Likewise other participatory members including Chairperson of Jagaran Nepal, Ms. Samjhana Pokhrel also expressed their view regarding how to ensure effective participation of women in the upcoming local level election. They also mentioned that poster, pamphlet must be made and distributed for its effectiveness.

According to Ms. Sharu Joshi Shrestha of UN Women, since 40% seat has been ensured by the Act, she mentioned that preparation regarding various informative materials on the very issue is ongoing in coordination with Election Commission. Coordinator of Men Engage Alliance, Mr. Krishna Thapa; Chairperson of Didibahini, Ms. Saloni Singh;Chairperson of Women Security Pressure Group, Ms. Sabitri Thapa;Deputy Chairperson of Beijing Committee, Ms. Sushila Shrestha expressed their belief that the local election can be historical for ensuring the maximum number of women participants in the political realm.

A total of 30 participants participated in program including representatives from different non government organizations, media personnel, Ms. Yashodha Devi Timilsina, Information Commissioner, and Ms. Saru Joshi Shrestha, South Asia Coordinator of UN women . The program began with welcome remarks of Ms. Samjhana Pokhrel, Chairperson of Jagaran Nepal and was moderated by Ms. Sharmila Karki, Founder President of Jagaran Nepal.

Some Glimpes