KATHMANDU, May 19: Even as the dominance of male candidates for the executive posts continues as the vote counting for the first phase of local elections goes on, some women have managed to make it to the top positions by sidelining powerful competitors in various municipalities and rural municipalities. Few more are on their way to set history.
Breaking the traditional gender stereotypes, people in many parts have chosen female chiefs for their local units. As of now, two women leaders have been elected as municipal mayors, while six have been chosen as chairpersons of the rural municipalities.
Kantika Sejuwal of NC has been elected as the mayor of Chandannath Municipality, Jumla, of Province-6. Sejuwal, who had joined politics quitting her permanent government job, got victory over her opponent by securing 2,777 votes. CPN (Maoist Center) candidate remained second with 2,066 votes. She is the widow of Manab Sejuwal, the then president of Nepali Congress (NC), Jumla, who was killed in a plane crash in February 2014.
Similarly, Sima Kshetri of CPN-UML has been elected as the mayor of Putalibazar Municipality in Syangja. Kshetri, a former school teacher, emerged victorious by defeating NC candidate Tulsi Ram Regmi. Likewise, Sita Kumari Poudel of UML has been elected to the post of chairperson of Kalika rural municipality, in Rasuwa. She garnered 1,458 votes to defeat her closest rival who received 1,225 votes.
Chuppi Maya Gurung of NC has been elected as the chief of Dudhpokhari Rural Municipality, Lamjung. She garnered 1,435 votes to defeat Maoist Center's Sati Maya Tamang. Likewise, NC candidate Maya Rana has been elected as the chief of Myagde Rural Municipality in Tanahun district.
She got 4,542 votes while her closest rival Shree Prasad Shrestha of UML secured 3,461 votes only.
In Myagdi, Thamsara Pun of UML who received 2,460 votes has been elected as the chairperson of Dhaulagiri Rural Municipality. In the same way, Laxmi pandey of NC booked the position of chairperson of Hupsekot Rural Municipality, Nawalparasi with 4,592 votes. Her closest rival Megh Bahadur Pulami secured 4,358 votes.
In Chitwan, NC's Geeta Gurung has bagged the chief post of Ichhakamana Rural Municipality, the largest municipality in the district. Gurung who got 3,254 votes defeated UML's Narayan Prasad Adhikari who received 3,061 votes.
Women across the country were elated when the government announced the local elections nearly after two decades. They were over the moon when the government made 50 percent of women candidacy mandatory in the elections. Many strong and qualified women decided to file their nominations for the major posts with the hope of bringing change. But, things were not as easy as they looked.