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Interaction Program on "Role of Media for Effective Participation of Women in Election among Women Leaders and Journalists "

An interaction program on "Role of Media for Effective Participation of Women in Election among Women Leaders and Journalists" was organized by SAJHA ABHIYAN  and facilitated by Jagaran Nepal on 27th  October, 2017 in Union House, Anamnagar  with the support of DCA under WoRLD ( Women's Representation and Leadership Development Project). The program was organized with the objective  to discuss on how the media can play a pivotal role in highlighting the issues of women leaders as only 5% of women got nominated on first-past-the-post poll for the provincial and federal polls taking place on November 26.  

The country is heading toward the election of House of Representatives and State Assemblies in 32 districts on November 26 and in the remaining 45 districts on December 7 this year. Only five percent (41 out of 803) women’s representation was seen when political parties filed nominations on October 22 for the federal and provincial elections scheduled for November 26 . The program was thus organized to have an interaction among the women leaders and journalists who provided their opinions on what can be done further from both of their sides for more effective participation of women in the upcoming elections. Ms. Sharmila Karki, founder of Jagaran Nepal shed the lights on the role of SAJHA ABHIYAN in pressurizing the concerned stakeholders  for effective participation of women in elections and  urged the journalists to write more on the issues of women leaders . After sharing with the theme and objectives of the program, open floor discussion took place which was moderated by Ms. Lily Thapa, Founder of Women for Human Rights. Women leaders of various political parties demanded that women’s representation in the House of Representatives and provincial assemblies be ensured in line with the constitution. They opined that there should be mandatory provision regarding the number of women representatives from first-past-the-post election.

Ms. Uma Regmi, a Nepali Congress leader and chairperson of the Nepal Women Association, stressed that ability and capacity is nothing if there is no opportunity. Though women wanted to compete through first-past-the-post poll, they were not given the tickets. She mentioned that the patriarchal mindset of society has made the matter worse. Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal leader Ms. Pushpa Thakur expressed the need of publication of news in local language regarding the struggles women have gone through this date for effective participation of women. Ms. Sashi Shrestha , Leader of Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) expressed  that journalists should write the news regarding what achievements have been gained in other countries after the women being elected in various posts. CPN (Maoist Centre) leader Ms. Amrita Thapa, Ms. Rekha Sharma, Central Committee Member(Congress) Ms. Mina Pandey , CPN (ML) leader Ms. Nilam KC requested the media to play an effective role in order to compensate the problems arised due to the 1st phase of federal and provincial election and also urged that the parties should  compensate by fielding more women and ensuring their representation in the upcoming elections. 

Senior Journalists Mr. Tanka Panta, Mr. Gunaraj Luitel. Mr. Ramchandra Lamichahne were present in the program who stressed that women leaders should also proactively bring forth their issues in the media . Mr. Luitel , editor of Nagarik News expressed that the women leaders should be updated with the current events and should be able to speak in the limelight which would make it easier for the journalists to pin down the women leader's opinions in papers. Mr. Lamichhane, Director of ACORAB opined that there is need of change in the thinking pattern and stressed that instead of asking for the seats , the women leaders should be able to decide as well . Mr Panta, senior journalists mentioned that abiding with the parties ethics and norms , women leaders should also provide various informations regarding the issues discussed  in the parties relating to the women and election.

A total of 42 participants participated in the program including  women leaders from different political parties,  SAJHA ABHIYAN members, senior  journalists and media personnels. The program began with welcome remarks and objective sharing by Mr. Dipak Prashad Bashyal and chaired by Ms. Samjhana Pokharel, Chairperson of Jagaran Nepal who opined that journalists should encourage the women leaders by highlighting their issues in the news and articles.