By Er. Ravi Khanal
A prescription for policy makers and human resource planners in Nepal! An impressive pool of female human-resources with experience of five years in governance-desks at local government level is available at the moment. They could be approached for enhancing women’s participation in governance, development works and for sustainable development goals.
If the same could be done it would be a great contribution to the celebration of the International Women’s Day 2022 when the theme for conversation and practice is “Gender Equality Today for Sustainable Tomorrow”. The spirit behind the topic deserves public attention because it reminds all of the common commitment to a culture of sustainable equality and equity not only for the present but also for future generation.
Women who served as representatives of people at local government for 2017-2022 have acquired, although in varied ways, experience of grass-root level in areas such as governance, development works, budgeting, planning, disaster management, public health administration, handling justice-bench, etc. They have also been familiar with the challenges facing all sectors of municipalities.
Experts have opportunities to utilize the asset of the representatives’ experiences in furthering the cause of local government in the next cycle of local government whichis scheduled to emerge following the forthcoming May 13 polls. The point should neither be ignored nor sidelined. The usual narrative about women-resources until now has been: they lack experience; they are not exposed to public office challenges and opportunities; they do not have stamina to bear the tension of public offices; their family-responsibilities do not allow them to work in offices. The women-representatives – some 14352 in number – have now provided with evidence that they could perform and deliver when they get opportunities.
Some of those who served local government as representatives may choose to serve again while others could be interested in some other higher leadership-role. Political parties and their leaders could also allocate them some different role in future. A number of new faces could emerge through fresh polls. Because of these and other factors, the same women representatives may not be available for the next phase. Their experience, however, should be tapped for benefitting the next phase and enhancing the quality representation.
Human resource planners should work out a strategy to utilize the representatives’ experiences for adding further value to women’s representation at local government. The spirit and culture of sustainability also demands the same. So does the idea of taking tomorrow’s interest first into consideration while ensuring existence at present. Various celebrators of The International Women’s Day today are also raising voice for the same. Er. Khanal isManager, Kalpa Academy Centre for Governance and Sustainable Development; Secretary, Nepal German Academic Association (NEGAAS)