GULMI, Nov 6: Not a single woman has been fielded in the upcoming parliamentary elections under the first-past-the-post (FPTP) category in Gulmi by any political party. As per the details provided by the District Election Office, there isn't any woman candidate contesting the polls under this category.
According to woman leader Bishnu Sapkota, political parties still don't believe in woman leadership which is the reason why participation of women in politics is so depressing. Sapkota, who had filed her candidacy in the local elections, said, "It is sad that no women could get the opportunity to register their candidacy under the FPTP category."
Kamala Sharma, vice-chairperson of Musikot Municipality, states that the inability of major political parties to accept woman leadership is the reason behind women lagging behind in various fields.
Though the government had made the participation of women mandatory in the elections, this provision was not taken seriously by the parties and leaders. As per the law, it is mandatory to provide at least 33% reservation for women in all the state mechanisms. But, in reality, this law has been limited only to papers, informed Kamala Baral, a Dalit woman activist.
Women activists in the district have expressed their disappointment with the decision of major political parties to sideline female candidates for the FPTP category. They lament that women are given opportunities on the basis of quotas instead of their abilities. Women leaders have vented their ire toward the major political parties for not giving priority to women leaders despite their eligibility. As stated by Baral, Nepal is still a male-dominated society where women are deprived of rights and opportunities.
Even in the recently held local elections, women candidates were not fielded in executive posts. They were just limited to the posts of deputy mayor and vice-chairperson. There are altogether 12 local units in Gulmi and all the political parties had fielded male candidates for the post of chiefs while women were limited to the deputy posts. No female candidates could grab victory in the top posts in Gulmi in the local elections.