Nepali Times
Headline
Holding up half the sky




NARESH NEWAR

SECOND CLASS NO MORE: The citizenship proposal passed by Parliament on Tuesday honours women as equals but are rural women like these in Humla empowered enough to exercise their new rights?
The decision by the restored parliament this week to allow Nepali mothers to transfer citizenship to offspring has been hailed as a landmark, but there are doubts about implementation of these and other laws that are supposed to end discrimination against women.

Indeed, parliament has always been progressive when it comes to gender equity. Before it was dissolved in 2002, the house allowed daughters to inherit property, abortion was legalised and divorce laws were amended.

However, some of these decisions are still not properly implemented and there is a lack of awareness among women themselves about them. Activists say there are more than 100 other provisions still in the statutes that date back to the Muluki Ain that are discriminatory. There is scepticism, therefore, that despite the resolution passed on Tuesday reserving 33 percent of civil service jobs for women, the decision won't change the proportion of women working for the state.

Just look at the composition of the government itself: there is only one woman among 17 men in the interim cabinet and only four of the 205 MPs are women. The peace negotiation teams of both the Maoists and the government completely exclude women. The government also bargained away a woman speaker.


LATEST ISSUE
638
(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)


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