KATHMANDU, Aug 18: Women rights activists hit the streets on Friday to press the government to scrap the discriminatory provision against women in the citizenship bill sent to parliament jointly by the defense ministry and home ministry.
The march which was led by the National Alliance of Women Human Rights Defenders (NAWHRD) drew over 200 women and women rights activists from the valley. The participants of the demonstration marched from Maitighar Mandala and went through Babarmahal and Bijulibazar before converging into a gathering at New Baneshwar expressing their dissatisfaction over the bill.
In Clause 1 (A2) of the bill proposed by the Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Defense on August 17, there is a provision that if the child of a woman bearing Nepali citizenship whose husband is unidentified is to apply for citizenship, the child or the mother will have to declare so with sufficient proof in order to obtain citizenship. The protest was organized claiming that the provision undermines the independent nature of women.
Addressing the crowd of protestors at New Baneshwar, NAWHRD President Renu Adhikari expressed her dismay over the discriminatory provision against women in the citizenship bill. “This time we made the pink banner to press the government to scrap the discriminatory provision against women in the citizenship bill,” she said, “If our demand is not addressed, it will not take time for the banner to change to black color.”
Similarly, Manju Gurung from Paurakhi said, “To ask a woman to declare that her husband is unidentified is a humiliation to all women who had to raise their children by themselves. The provision should be scrapped as soon as possible.”
The protest rally was attended by various women right activists including Kunda Sharma, Bimala Tamang and Sarita Ghimire. In the rally, the protestors held placards with messages such as "Ensure Women Rights”, “Respect women”, “Scrap the discriminatory provision against women in the citizenship bill” and “Respect maternity”.