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Why so few women in politics?

Anita Yadav Monday, Mar 06, 2017 6245 reads

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All people are equal before the law and have equal protection rights. There shall be no discrimination on the basis of birth, nationality, political creed, race, sex, language, religion, opinion, origin, economic status or social status. Women's access to politics began in the late twentieth century when women won the battle for the right to vote although, in some states, the approval of the female vote did not hit until the mid-twentieth century.

Equal opportunities for women go through participation and representation in decision-making positions. But we know that women do not intervene in political decisions or access positions of power in the same way as men do. How many times have we heard the expression: "Behind every illustrious man there is a bright woman” Although it is a phrase whose purpose is to sublimate the role of women, we must not ignore what it says "behind”, which in a way signifies women are behind men and perpetuates the situation of discrimination. So we went from the subordination of being "under" the orders of the masculine to remaining "behind" the man in the modest second place.

Participatory democracy is fashionable. There is still a significant gender gap in political participation, although these differences are greater in the representative system than in the direct democracy. Most of the political position of women in Nepal are given by Man.  Most of the women leader did not come from grass root struggle.  The direct participation of women in politics in Nepal is and has been remarkably low.

Women face two types of obstacles while participating in political life. Structural barriers created by discriminatory laws and institutions continue to confine women's choice to vote or stand for election. Capacity gaps that perpetuate the idea that women are less likely than men to have the education, contacts, and resources that are needed to become effective leaders.


Equal opportunities and the elimination of the gap in the social, economic and political participation between men and women have been one of the objectives of gender equality. 


Women continue to take on the bulk of domestic work and family care, limiting their access to positions of responsibility. Reconciliation of family and work life continues to be more difficult for women, with few social resources to mitigate this difficulty, especially in low-income families. Single-parent families remain supported by women. On the other hand, these are the ones that are mainly responsible for the care of children, the elderly and disabled people. The idea that the main roles of women are those of mothers and wives persists in societies. Beliefs that women should only focus their attention on children and deal with household support tasks prevent a fair redistribution of time between men and women. On the other hand, the hierarchical assessment of the tasks performed by women and men implies an underestimation and less recognition of the contribution of women to societies.


Women's leadership and political participation are at risk, both locally and globally. Women have little representation not only as voters, but also in management positions, either in elected positions, in public administration, in the private sector or in the academic world. This reality contrasts with their undoubted capacity as leaders and agents of change, and their right to participate equally in democratic governance.



I asked 100 people randomly (50 men/ 50 women). More than 95 % told me that the major women power player in our country was because of the favoritism created by man, not by their ability.  You might argue whether the above statement is true or not but we have to definitely change the perception of the people towards women leadership in Nepal.


Yadav is a social activist, a yoga instructor who has Master degree in Childhood & Society with women's Studies from the University of Roehampton. 

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