MAHOTTARI, Dec 13: Even in this 21st century, not many Madhesi women dare to join politics. By breaking the traditional gender stereotypes, few women have stepped into politics but they are often criticized by the society. Despite demonstrating their capabilities time and again, women are always sidelined from mainstream politics. Not just the society but even the members of their own party don't believe in leadership and decision-making capability of women. In each election, all parties give priority to male candidates over females.
It has been observed that major political parties are more biased toward woman than small parties. Even though the parties claim that there are not enough female leaders to choose from, female politicians accuse the parties of neglecting them despite their eligibility. In the local elections held this year, the constitution had made it mandatory for all parties to nominate a woman candidate at least in one of the two executive posts. But still, no woman could make it to the post of any local level chief in Mahottari.
In the recently held parliamentary and provincial elections, very few women candidates were fielded by the parties. Only two women got the opportunity to participate in the parliamentary elections while there were 10 women who fought for the provincial assembly seats.
Three of them have proved the doubters wrong by securing victory in the provincial elections. According to political analysts, this has been taken as a positive step for the women in politics. A total of 74 candidates in had filed their candidacy for parliamentary elections and 149 candidates in provincial elections in Mahottari. In constituency 1(a), two female leaders -- Sharada Thapa of CPN-UML and Rupa Kumari Yadav of Rastriya Janata Party Nepal (RJPN) - were in the election fray for provincial assembly seats. Among them, UML's candidate Thapa emerged victorious by defeating her closest opponent Prahlad Chhettri of Nepali Congress (NC).
Likewise in constituency 2(b), Sarita Kumari Sah of RJPN bagged victory by beating her nearest rival Raj Karan Prasad Sah of NC. Furthermore, Rani Kumari Tiwari of RJPN won a provincial assembly seat in constituency 3(b) by defeating her closest rival and an independent candidate Suresh Sah. The victory of women candidates has inspired a lot of women in the district and proved the skeptics wrong.