October 6, 2022, Thursday
Nepal 1:37:26 pm

Leadership: more space for women

Editorial

The Nepal Weekly
March 8, 2022

One point political parties should consider more seriously while finalizing local polls candidature-strategy this time is related to allocation of more space for women in leadership-role. The experience of having women’s participation in local government in Nepal is encouraging. Women who led municipalities and wards for the past five years have impressed people and those women who served as deputy mayors or deputy chairpersons or as members of wards have also contributed significantly to governance affairs. Learning lessons from all these, political leaders should adopt liberal approach to extending opportunities for women in candidature for polls. Such policy would help glorify cultural, political and socioeconomic achievements of women in one hand and inspire people on the other hand to adopt a culture of accepting, without any reservation, women in leadership-role. Moreover, it will be a direct contribution to the broad cause of gender-equal Nepal- free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination of various sorts. The notion that women should be given second –to – decision-maker-role or the status of deputy should be left out this time for the idea is outdated and not helpful for promoting the cause of gender equality and gender equity. Senior leaders and others in the political parties have been expressing commitment to gender equality and equity on formal occasions such as International Women’s Day since 1975 when UN celebrated IWD for the first time. They, however, either forget the pledge or produce excuses of one sort or the other when they have to decisively offer space for women in leadership. If they could change this time, a sound basis for women in leadership role would be prepared throughout the nation at the grass-root level. The same would further enhance the cause of fairness in polls and add to the image of the political parties and leaders. It would also extend the level of participation and boost the quality of representation of women in polls. Critics are sometimes heard complaining about the competitiveness and performance-efficiency of women-candidature in polls. The women leaders who won leadership roles in the polls five years ago demonstrated well about the women’s competitiveness and performance-efficiency. If opportunities are given women can live up to the expectation of both competitiveness and performance-efficiency. If appropriate support is given and adequate circumstances are created, women can do much better as well. The same would be a booster for the cause of gender equality today for sustainable tomorrow, the thematic spirit of IWD-2022.