Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal formed 24-member cabinet comprising 11 ministers from CPN- Maoist, 6 from CPN- UML, 4 from Madhesi Janadhikar Forum and one each from Janamorcha Nepal, CPN- United and Sadbhawana Party.
Seeing the ministers with the portfolios, only 4 women ministers (16.67%, out of 24) are their in 24 cabinet members with 10th, 15th, 16th and 17th ranks in the row.
Out of 11 ministers, CPN- Maoist appointed 2 (18.18%) women ministers namely Pampha Bhusal and Hisila Yami. Similarly, out of 6 ministers, CPN- UML appointed only one women minister (16.66%) namely Asta Laxmi Shakya and Madhesi Janadhikar Forum appointed one minister (25%) namely Renu Yadav out of 4 ministers.
The most disappointing moment has again been set by the political parties that they declined to bring the proportionate representation of women in first republic government. The male ministers’ domination is 83.33% on 16.67% female representation. Out of 6 parties of the government, none of the political parties could come in equal basis in representing women ministers. Even CPN- Maoist initiation in bringing women ministers seemed frustrating as compared with its own initiation made in interim legislature and CA members’ selection. The worst steps were taken by other five coalition partners.
On one hand the political parties talk about women proportionate participation at all state mechanism and on other hand they always fail to bring the thing happen in implementation. So, how can we assume that the political parties are serious enough on women proportionate participation at state mechanism? It seemed that the political parties’ concepts even now have not been changed for making proportionate representation of women at state mechanism. 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?
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, a proportionate representation of women at all state mechanism and not to use women only as voters and not to recognize only for vote bank. We are compelled to say that we are being disappointed with the behaviors of political parties. We strongly urged the Prime Minister and the political parties to fulfill proportionate representation of women at all state mechanism and pledge all to take corrective action for women proportionate participation.
Discussion on Women Related Provisions of Annual Policy and Program of First Republic Government :
President Dr Ram Baran Yadav on September 10, 2008 unveiled the government’s policies and programs for the fiscal year 2065/66 in the Legislature- Parliament. The 90 points annual document has put emphasis on taking the peace process to a logical end. For this, the government has pledged to complete the drafting of the new constitution within the stipulated time, integrate Maoist combatants into the security forces in six months and push forward the process of socio-economic transformation. The document speaks about institutionalization of new federal republic, though there are differences among the ruling parties on the modality of federal structure. Among others, the most important part of the document is that the CPN- Maoists have invited the armed-groups active in the tarai for a dialogue.
Some Women Related Provisions in Government Policies;
Point No. 12 Based on the principles of progressiveness, social justice and equality, the proportional inclusion of women, indigenous nationalities, ethnicities in the extreme minority, Madhesis, Dalits, the Muslim community and people from backward regions shall, in all organs and at all levels of the state, be taken forward by making arrangements in accordance with legal requirements. For this, a National Inclusion Commission, which shall include participation by all stakeholders, shall be formed in order to provide recommendations to the Government.
Point No. 48: Forest encroachment shall strictly control. Scientific management of forest areas shall be undertaken with an emphasis on harnessing maximum benefits for deprived communities, regions, gender, ethnic groups and classes. An herb-development program shall be linked to an economic program to lift the status of the poor, women and marginalized regions and communities. After a registration process, necessary legal arrangements shall be made to protect the country’s unique biodiversity.
Point No. 54: A policy shall be implemented to make all citizens literate, and to deliver equal and quality education, within the next two years. A multi-phased program shall also be implemented to provide high-school-level education free of cost, in order to make education easily available to everyone. Special arrangements shall be put in place to enhance the accessibility to education of poor, Dalit, women and marginalized groups from the Madhes, hill and mountain regions. Special work and education programs shall be conducted for those young people who have been deprived of education during the conflict. Skilled human resources shall be developed by increasing investment in technical education. The participation of [students’] guardians in school management shall be increased. A policy shall be maintained to deliver education through open schools and universities.
Point No. 77: Strict provisions for punishment for crimes such as trafficking, physical exploitation and domestic violence against women shall be put in place by bringing to an end the patriarchal social system and all forms of discrimination against women. Programs for the development of women shall be implemented in all Village Development Committees. A series of programs shall be created to ensure the proportionate participation and inclusion of women in every state organ. Initiatives shall also be taken to develop the Women’s Commission as a constitutional body, by making the Commission’s role more effective in terms of the empowerment of women.
There is a great deal in the policy and program that can make a difference that the people can feel easily. Any program does not need big financial outlay to make people’s live better; what is needed is only will power. So, the policies and programs seem nice only when it comes into reality with strong commitment on its implementation part. Each and every government of Nepal made a lot of policies and programs in previous years also but what they lacked is its implementation part. So, people are expecting that the same story will not be staged by this government also and we are hopeful that this government will not let down the aspirations of people.