Mon, March 09, 2009
World > Asia-Pacific

Int'l Women's Day celebrated in Nepal

2009-03-08 12:44:54 GMT2009-03-08 20:44:54 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

Nepali women in traditional dresses take part in a celebration to mark the International Women's Day in Nepal's capital Kathmandu on March 8, 2009. The main theme of the International Women's Day for Nepal this year is "Voice of All Nepalis: Drafting Women-friendly Constitution." (Xinhua Photo)

A Nepali woman in traditional dress takes part in a celebration to mark the International Women's Day in Nepal's capital Kathmandu on March 8, 2009. The main theme of the International Women's Day for Nepal this year is "Voice of All Nepalis: Drafting Women-friendly Constitution." (Xinhua Photo)

Two Nepali girls in traditional dress takes part in a celebration to mark the International Women's Day in Nepal's capital Kathmandu on March 8, 2009. The main theme of the International Women's Day for Nepal this year is "Voice of All Nepalis: Drafting Women-friendly Constitution." (Xinhua Photo)

A Nepali girl in traditional dress takes part in a celebration to mark the International Women's Day in Nepal's capital Kathmandu on March 8, 2009. The main theme of the International Women's Day for Nepal this year is "Voice of All Nepalis: Drafting Women-friendly Constitution." (Xinhua Photo)

Nepali women in traditional dresses take part in a celebration to mark the International Women's Day in Nepal's capital Kathmandu on March 8, 2009. The main theme of the International Women's Day for Nepal this year is "Voice of All Nepalis: Drafting Women-friendly Constitution." (Xinhua Photo)

by Binju Sitaula

No matter they are high class or low, Nepali women are socially, economically and politically discriminated. The deep rooted patriarchy system of the society as well as the previous government has marginalized them as second class gender, said women activists in Nepal on Sunday.

"Nepal has written some of the laws in the favor of women, these laws could be our achievement, but they are not implemented," said Sapana Pradhan Malla, a lawmaker in the Constitutional Assembly (CA).

Malla, who is also an advocate and women rights activists, said that 33 percent of women participation in the state's every sector has not been achieved yet, despite the fact that 33 percent reservation has already been mentioned in Nepal's Interim Constitution 2008.

Nepali women rights activists referred this fact as dual mentality of patriarchal system governed by male drivers, who say something and mean something else.

Nepali Prime Minister Prachanda assured that the new republican government which has for the first time organized a formal program in Nepal to mark "International Women's Day", is improving the status of women gradually.

Prachanda on Sunday claimed that Nepali women who are unaware of their rights and are being dominated by male are getting to know their rights. According to him, all this is happening after the new republican government came into power.

However, Nepali women activists gathered in Nepali capital Kathmandu on Sunday and described Prachand's claim as an "irony". According to them, Prachanda has not appointed minister for "Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare (MoWCSW)" yet.

Prachanda was elected Prime Minister of the republic government on Aug. 15, 2008 and the cabinet got its final shape on Aug. 31, 2008. Prime Minister Prachanda himself is leading MoWCSW right now.

"The new constitution will emerge how women lawmakers want. If women are united then they can make difference as their will," said Prachanda while addressing the mass.

Since Nepal is in the verge of drafting new constitution so far, this year's celebration of the 99th International Women's Day has come up with the main theme of "Women-friendly constitution drafting, appeal to all Nepali".

Nainkala Thapa, President of National Women Commission (NWC) and coordinator of 99th International Women's Day main organizing committee said discrimination on the basis of gender difference is continuing in Nepal by the state itself, adding such discrimination is a violation of human rights. She asked all women across the country to unite and raise voices while drafting new constitution.

Former Minister for Foreign Affairs Sahana Pradhan appealed the new republic to declare NWC as constitutional commission. "Government has not taken NWC as constitutional commission. Unless it is announced as a constitutional commission, no issues related with women will be taken seriously," added Pradhan.

Prachanda vowed to present the proposal in the cabinet to declare NWC as constitutional commission.

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