Jagaran Nepal conducted the interaction program on "Role of Women Parliamentarians in Making Gender Responsive Federal Laws " with an objective of discussing on how elected women members can play an effective role in the federal parliament in developing (or amending in the case of existing laws if any) the gender responsive laws and policies to ensure women's human rights (particularly in the sector of women's participation in decision making, governance and development)- in line with the Constitution of Nepal. The program was held on 29th March, 2018 A.D. (15th Chaitra, 2074 B.S.) in Alpha House, New Baneshwor.
A total of 66 participants participated in the program who consisted of members of Parliament (House of representatives) , representatives from various INGOs and NGOs, civil society members, Sajha Abhiyan Members, senior journalists and media personnels.
The chief guest of this event was Honorable State Health Minister, Padma Aryal. Advocate Mr. Sabin Shrestha , Executive Director of FWLD presented the paper on "Role of Women Parliamentarians in Making Gender Responsive Federal Laws ". He highlighted that parliamentarians have overarching function as the people’s representatives in making and amending laws in line with the Constitution of Nepal, 2015. He pointed out that women parliamentarians have to play a powerful role in effectively addressing the issues regarding gender equality ensured by our constitution. He mentioned about procedures regarding introduction and passage of bill and presented about the things to be considered by the parliamentarians regarding gender equality while making laws.
Different views were put forward by MPs along with their questions. They raised concern regarding child marriage, citizenship, reproductive health and made commitment to make appropriate laws by having a vigorous discussion in parliament and to work to ensure gender equality. They opined that the civil society should assist them in making gender responsive laws by providing them with technical inputs/guidelines, relevant information materials and continue with the lobby and advocacy .
Similarly, Hon Minister, Ms. Padma Kumari Aryal put forward the caveat that in order to carry out the effective role, women MPs needs to gain expertise in the subject matter to be discussed. She held that principle of proportional inclusion is a special opportunity provided to women and they should utilize this and develop themselves and do exemplary works . She committed to provide necessary support from her ministry in making gender responsive policies. Ms. Samjhana Pokhrel, Chairperson of Jagaran Nepal in her concluding remarks held that women MPs of Nepal must use their powers to support the development of comprehensive legal frameworks to enhance women's equality and their rights.