Dalit women demand 8 percent Participation at Political Parties

Dalit Women with CPN-UML Women wing Akhil Nepal Mahila Sangh Krantikari Chairperson Goma Devkota during the lobby visit Meeting

Dalit Women with CPN-UML Women wing Akhil Nepal Mahila Sangh Krantikari Chairperson Goma Devkota during the lobby visit Meeting

Feminist Dalit Organization (FEDO) has completed a lobby/Advocacy meeting with women wings of major Political Parties. On November 27, 2012 at their party offices. The meeting was attended by the political leaders from the women’s group of (Nepali Congress) Nepal Mahila Sangh, Communist Party of Nepal-UML, (Akhil Nepal Mahila Sangh) and Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) (Akhil Nepal Mahila Sangh’Krantikari’)   This activity is an initial step to encourage the government of Nepal and main political parties to adopt affirmative action policies to ensure at least 8 percent Dalit women within the 33 percent quota for women’s participation by 2015 AD.

The Secretary General of FEDO Kala Swarnakar gave her view in brief according to paper which was prepared by FEDO baseline survey. There were mentioned about the representation of Dalit women in National levels political parties. Which survey covered Banke, Kailali and Kanchanpur District. She elaborated the present scenario and their representation in the major political parties. Then women leaders of political party’s women wings expressed their views on the basis of their parties’ provision to representation and their rules and policies. The Chairperson of Feminist Dalit Organization (FEDO) Mrs. Durga Sob said that the main objectives of this visit is to know what types of participation of Dalit women’s in the Political parties women wings as well as in the  parties. She added we want to build good relationship between major political parties to access the representation of Dalit women in the political parties. We want to sit together and discuss in upcoming days also. She added.

She said we did baseline survey to know about the participation of Dalit women in the major political parties and their condition in the three Districts namely: Banke, kailali and Kanchanpur.  According to baseline survey in the Banke district there were 3.2 percent Dalit women participating in the major political parties. In the Kailali District there were 2.2 percent Dalit women were participated in their parties. And in the Kanchanpur District only o.4 percent Dalit women participating in the major three UCPN-Moist, CPN-UML and Nepali Congress parties she says. The baseline survey exactly does not give clear pictures of Dalit women’s participation in the political parties but is carried and shows sample picture of participation of Dalit women in the political parties she added. The Chairperson of Akhil Nepal Mahila Sangh (Krantikari) Sita Pokhrel said baseline survey which you done it is close to truthiness. And it shows the overall pictures of dalit representation in the political parties.

She said that in the communist party there is no inclusive policy and provision. We need to make competent candidate to reach high position in the party. But we give top priority to Dalit women have to ensure their meaningful participation in the party. She said we are going to exercise to develop inclusion policy to ensure their participation.  In the 205 Adopt committee of Akhil Nepal Mahila Sangh (Krantikari) 3 were Dalit women. she added now we are going to first convention of party which is going to organize first time after 23 years of long period at that time surely we will more focus and representation of  Dalit women in the party committee and other its wings she commitment. Former Constituent Assembly member and the moist leader Dharma Shila Chapagain said that if we want to see a leader in politics first of all we need to empower them economically. And then they can struggle in political parties for a long time. In this case social welfare organizations need to protect their rights and to be empowered and to promote them. Moist leader Hisila Yami said if Dalit women’s wants to get their rights at that time they need to uplift and special communist not only communist. Otherwise they cannot get their rights from different agencies and within the political parties as well. In the interaction program the CPN-UML women wings, Akhil Nepal Mahila Sangh vice president Goma Devkota said it should be better to sit before our parties’ national convention. It is also suitable time to get together to ensure the participations Dalit women in the political parties. She informed to the FEDO team about her organization. According to Devkota there were 127 women’s. Out of 127 there were 11 Dalit women’s in the central committee of Akhil Nepal Mahila Sangh.

There were 7 vice chairpersons and 9 secretaries but there are not any Dalit women in the key positions. She added party legally allocated 33 percent quota but still we are in 17 percent. She expressed upcoming election any how we get 33 percent quota. We are going to lobbying and Advocating to ensure the 33 percent quota in the party. We are not satisfied of the representation of Dalit women in the party. But we commit at this time we fully incorporate to develop and policy and implement it to ensure the meaningful participation of Dalit women in parties committees and different departments she added.

In the meeting the Nepali congress women wings chairperson of Nepal Mahila Sangh Dr. Dila Sangraula said that Nepali Congress party has been ensuring to Dalit women’s in the parties to the reservation. She added the party has allocated the reservation for Dalit, women and other marginalized communities from Village /City committee to Central level Committee. And she informed with FEDO team the party provision has to give common and active membership while providing membership to them. She comment it richest and highly educated person only coming in the politics if we will move such this way to upcoming days we could not ensure the real participations who are really marginalized people in the society as well as community.She added that party already allocated 33 percent quota for women representation in the party structures. But still we are in 17.3 percent in the party’s central committee. She expressed that they are going to claim 33 percent quota in upcoming Party’s election.

Nepal Mahila Sangh has to provision to Dalit, Women, Muslim, indigenous and other marginalized community to ensure their representation in the women wings allocated 22 percent reservation at all levels committees. But it is not enough to ensure their participations in the party. This is why we are going to increase the quota in the next election. Now we are providing reservation seats on the basis of Congress party provisions and policies she added. She suggested to FEDO team that social organizations are fully responsible to monitor and create the pressure to participatory and accountable to the party and its policy. This is why you people need to create the pressure to more participatory to the party she added.

Rajendra Tamrakar

Information and Communication Officer

Feminist Dalit Organization (FEDO)

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