Discussion Programme on “Role of Media for Inclusive Women Participation in Local Election”

 In the co-ordination of Jagaran Nepal and Working Women Journalists (WWJ), network formed under the common banner of “SAJHA ABHIYAN for Women's Participation in Local Election” organized a discussion program entitled "Role of Media for Inclusive Women Participation in Local Election" on 16th April 2017 in Alpha House, New Baneshwor, which was funded by Dan Church Aid (DCA). The program was organized with an objective to discuss how media can play pivotal role in ensuring participation of women in upcoming local election and to get the expert's opinion regarding relation between politicians and journalists.

"SAJHA ABHIYAN for Women's Participation in Local Election" was formed in the initiation of Jagaran Nepal to ensure women's participation in upcoming local election .The network members under the common banner of SAJHA ABHIYAN are Women Security Pressure Group (WSPG), Working Group for Women’s Political Empowerment(AWG), Shanti Malika, Sancharika Samuha, Men Engage Alliance (MEA), Sankalpa, Media, Women in Policy Advocacy Alliance (WIPPA), Beyond Beijing Committee (BBC), National Network Against Girl Trafficking (NNAGT) , Nepal Disabled Women Association, Alliance against Trafficking in Women & Children in Nepal (AATWIN), WPNCC, AYON Nepal, ACCORAB-CIN ,

The program began with welcome remarks and objective sharing of Ms. Sharmila Karki, immediate Past President of NGO Federation and founding President of Jagaran Nepal and Senior Women Activist. It was followed by the presentation session. Ms. Subhechhya Bindu from Working Women Journalists gave the presentation on the topic "Political Relationship with Journalists". The presentation highlighted the relationship of political leaders with media personnel along with the causes of weak relationship among women leaders and media personnel. She mentioned that in case if any journalists disseminate the wrong news about women political leader and disobey Journalists’ Code of Conduct, it can be reported to Federation of Nepali Journalists who will look into the matters and deal accordingly.

Ms Sharmila Karki opined that journalists, women activists and women leaders should come together and coordinate to make the women win the candidacy in the local election. Furthermore she mentioned that the issues regarding women leaders and journalists must be dealt properly to establish good relation among them that would enhance a better working environment for both of them

. Ms. Shasi Shrestha, Central committee member of CPN Maoist Center expressed her concerns mentioning that 40 per cent women representation is only ensured in ward level as a ward member and not in the major leading position of local level units. She opined that women leaders, women activist and journalist must be careful about inclusive participation of women in upcoming local election.

According to Women political leaders including Ms. Janak kumari Chalise , Member of CPN-ML, Polybureau Member; Ms. Dhana Khatiwada, General Secretary of Nepal Women Association, Ms. Sabitra Bhusal, member of central committee of CPN UML, the causes of hesitant behavior shown by women leaders towards journalists must be addressed properly. Similarly, media personnel including Ms. Laxmi Basnyat, Ms. Kalpana Bhandari, Ms. Kabita Thapa, Mr. Nagendra Sapkota expressed that women leaders should provide proper information to journalists and should maintain harmonious relationship for sound political career, publicity and to make their views reach the general mass.

Senior women activists including Ms. Durga karki, Ms. Saloni singh and other women leaders suggested to implement SANJHA ABHIYAN not only in central level but also in local level to aware and help local women candidate for meaningful proportional women representation in upcoming local election.

Similarly, in her remarks, Hon. Ranju Kumari Jha, Chairperson of Legislative Parliament Committee for Women, Children, Senior Citizen and Social Welfare appraised the role of media personnel in boosting her political career . She requested the journalist to co-operate with women political leaders for the local election and giving them equal chances to share their views to the people . She mentioned that it can be done via talk show, newspaper coverage, radio broadcasting, etc.

A total of 47 participants including representatives from different institutions, legislative members, women political leaders from different political parties, their sisters’ wings, women activists from different organizations, INGOs, NGOs, media personnel (print, online) had participated in the program. The program was moderated and facilitated by Mr. Chandra Baniya, Journalist of Radio Nepal and chaired by Hon. Ranju Kumari Jha, Chairperson of Legislative Parliament Committee for Women, Children, Senior Citizen and Social Welfare who participated as a Chief Guest.

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