Jun 19, 2016- Women leaders and activists fear that political leaders will reduce women’s representation in Parliament into mere tokenism by interpreting the constitutional guarantee of 33 percent in favour of men and would tip the balance by allocating lesser seats in the lower house of Parliament.
The constitution has ensured one third representation of women in Parliament but it does not go into details about how the targeted number will be achieved.
The fear is that women will still be an afterthought in allocating seats and that the gap in numbers would be filled through nominations to the upper house. While the upper house plays an important role, it is seen as the weaker of the two houses in most parliamentary democracies.
‘In order to ensure 33 percent seats, certain percentage of constituencies will have to be set aside for women in the first-past-the-post system of election or else we will never reach the targeted number,’ said Sashi Shrestha, past president of he Inter-Party Women Alliance (IPWA).