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Nepal government delays to appoint National Women Commission executives

KATHMANDU: Nepal government delays to appoint executives of the National Women Commission (NWC).
Nepal National Women Commission (NWC) run without leaders at its helm for more than two years.
The Constitutional Council (CC) headed by Prime Minister is responsible to appoint the office bearers in the constitutional body, but the CC has remained indifferent to the existing situation.
Despite repeated pledges from the commission to fill up the vacancies, the key positions, including that of its chief, had remained vacant, said Dhurba Raj Chhetri, Information Office of the NWC.
The post of the commission chief went vacant after the retirement of the commission members following the introduction of NWC Act 2017 in line with the Constitution.
The problem, according to some rights activists, is that the government is apathetic towards giving the commission a full shape because the issues of women rights and Dalits were never in the priority list of the government.
Others have argued that the problem was not due to lack of competent officials to lead the commission but due to political prejudices.
Different leaders of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) are said to have recommended different candidates to head the commission.
Though the government a year ago had issued a public notice stating that it was preparing to give the commission a full shape, there has been no progress in this regard.
The commission has been without office bearers since October 2017 after Bhagwati Ghimire’s tenure was cut short in line with the enactment of NWC Act.
Ghimire was appointed as acting chair of the commission in March 2016 when the tenure of other members had expired. But after the enactment of the new Act, she was terminated before her retirement age, added Chhettri.
Prior to the introduction of the new Act, the ruling parties used to appoint the chairs and office bearers.
But the public notice made it mandatory to fill up the vacancies through an open competition and made a criteria that the candidate had to be above 45 years old, with at least 10 years of working experience in the area of women rights and empowerment.
Senior most leaders of NCP are said to have recommended the names of the prominent women rights activists, including Lily Thapa, Saru Joshi and Shanti Adhikari, among others, to head the NWC.
It is said that the appointment of the office bearers have been delayed due to the differences of the senior party leaders over the recommendation of the candidates.
Laxmi Pandey, Under-Secretary of the NWC, said positions of office bearers, a chairperson and four members are lying vacant.
The number of complaints of violence against women registered in the commission has been increasing steadily, said Pandey adding that it has been unable to conduct monitoring in the serious violence cases and issue any direction to the government officials in the absence of the office bearers.

Published Date: Wednesday, July 10th, 2019 | 08:39 PM

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