KATHMANDU, Nov 13: Experts have said that although the number of women in politics has increased significantly in recent years, this has not helped in bringing any substantial change in the lives of women in general in Nepal.
Speaking at a panel discussion organized jointly by Sancharika Samuha and Embassy of Canada in New Delhi on Tuesday, they argued that there is still a long way to go to ensure equal representation of women in politics and at the decision-making level.
Former chairperson of the Centre for Investigative Journalism Namrata Sharma said although currently there is an increase in the representation of women at higher level as a result of reservation system, the real question is if this number has helped to uplift the status of women and girls in general? Most of the speakers backed her to conclude that these numbers have not helped much to uplift the condition of women, especially those living in rural and underdeveloped areas.
The event with four-panel discussions was joined by various intellectual figures, mostly media persons. The conference had intense deliberations on topics like gender equality in politics and its importance, media's role in achieving equal participation of women in politics, and involvement of women in social media.
The speakers at the workshop said that in most of the cases women are still not referred as resource persons as much as men are. The way media portrays women in politics is still not as expected and a lot of things need to be changed, they said.
In regard to the involvement of women in politics and social media as well as the threat this has posed to them, experts argued that women involved in politics generally do not tend to be active in social media because of extreme trolling and bullying they have to face from the general public in these virtual platforms. Also, they have to face extreme attacks on the personal level and do not receive constructive feedback even in case of some minor faults.
Speaking on the occasion, Deputy Ambassador of Canada Deidre Kent said that issues about women and girls have always been sensitive to discuss upon and their involvement in politics carries a huge significance in order to advance the current pace of development of societies.
“Globally, there is only 24% participation of women in national level and proportional inclusiveness of women in politics and national issues have always been a challenge for all the nations,” she said.