On video: women in Nepalese elections

In 2017, Nepal held its first local-level elections for almost 20 years and the first ever conducted under the new federal state structure established under the 2015 Constitution. They were significant because of the unprecedented number of women who stood as candidates and won.

Women in Nepal have experienced systemic discrimination for decades, especially those in rural areas, among ethnic minorities and marginalized groups.

These elections presented the women of Nepal with the opportunity to break through barriers that have prevented them for decades from participating in political and public life.

The Local Level Governance Act lays out the mandate and functions of newly formed local bodies.

If the recently elected women are allowed to meaningfully participate in local governance, the new law could empower them further so that they can take the lead in addressing key human rights issues, especially the human rights of women.

This video documents the campaign of Rikam BK, a Nepalese politician, belonging to the Communist party of Nepal-Maoist (CPN-M).

In the Nepal Legislative Election held on 26 November 2017, she was elected as a Sub-Mayor (NCP Maoist) of Lahan Municipal Council winning 5000 votes.

She is the chairperson of the Dalit Preservation Abhiyan Forum, in Siraha. She has been advocating the issue of land certificates in the names of both husband and wife.

She continues to call for those deprived of land rights to have equal access to land. She is also the member of National Alliance for Women Human Rights Defenders (NAWHRD).

Many of the women featured in this video are women human rights defenders who have been working to promote and protect human rights in Nepal for decades.

Many of them participated in the Regional Conference on Women Human Rights Defenders as Political Actors, which was organized by the ICJ, with the cooperation of NAWHRD.

The conference was held from 28 to 29 August 2017 in Kathmandu.

The ICJ recently released a briefing paper laying out the key points of the conference and offering a set of future actions aimed at supporting WHRDs in their role as political actors pursuing a human rights agenda.

Watch the video


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