Culture of Silence- Nepal
In Nepal, where women comprise of more than half of the population, they are still excluded from society both as beneficiaries as well as contributors. After ending the 240-year-old monarchy and declaring Nepal as a republic after 10 years of armed conflict, there was a successful change in women’s representation in the process of state building. Among the 601 members in the Constituent Assembly, there are 197 women, or 33 percent of the total, involved in the process of making a new constitution. The 33 percent representation of women in the Constituent Assembly is a historic achievement not only for Nepal but for all the democratic countries at a time of post conflict peace process.
Recently, the National Planning Commission, which is the advisory body of Nepal for formulating development plans and policies, appointed eleven members, with not a single woman! If we look at the structure of leading political parties, we still see that women are under-represented. Even in the peace committee formed by the Peace Ministry, there is only one woman among its 11 members.
When will they realize that depriving women from politics of peace means paralysing more than half of the population from creative change. Representation of women in decision making and inclusion of their perspectives will ultimately lead to solutions that are more viable and satisfy a broader range of society. Women’s representation in post conflict decision making is crucial to address the different impact that women suffered in conflict and to promote substantial peace and development.