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Scent of a Woman


Democracy is all about competition – a competition in an uneasy arena, and if women want to win there is no substitute to building constituencies for gender equality, matched with building women’s money might. Efforts to soften up that arena through affirmative action are essential but have got to be temporary if they are to avoid damaging democracy, for they are too easily subverted or distorted by politicos fancying flashing their credentials as modernisers than in supporting genuine gender equality.

Studies carried out by inside and outside research organisations show that women representation in the political decision-making process is relatively low in Pakistan, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, the Maldives and Nepal (India and Bangladesh are fairing somewhat better, though) — be it an autocratic or democratic polity. Yet, Asia Pacific and Latin America have somewhat shown some progress towards that direction.

For instance, Indonesia’s direct legislative election in April 9 was a resounding success for women candidates. But instead of rejoicing, activists and political observers say it is unlikely to help the cause of women’s rights. Titi Sumbung, executive director of the Indonesia Centre for Women in Politics, says more women in the legislature are welcome, but the majority of female lawmakers lack political experience. Her non-government organisation aims to promote gender equity. Results showed a significant increase in the female legislators – from 11.8 percent to between 17 and 19 percent in the 560-member House. And in the case of Latin America, although it has shown notable progress in achieving gender equality, poor women in the region still face limited opportunities for decent work.

Apart from political order, there is a string of socioeconomic and cultural spices responsible for such a heart-breaking phenomenon. The study makes an attempt, with the limitations of the primary sources of information, to dig into the general socioeconomic, health, legal and political problems of women politicians.

The past year has been a record for gender equality in political arena, with women taking one out of every five seats in recent elections. Just a few weeks ago the South African Parliament leaped from ranking 17th in the world to 4th in the portion of seats won by women: 43 percent — only Rwanda (56 percent), Sweden (47 percent), Cuba (43.2 percent) are ahead. Up to 24 countries now boast national assemblies that are 30 percent or more female. But the progress is halting. For every 60 percent of cases where women are doing better, 40 percent of electoral outcomes show some losses.

There has been a tendency to develop an instrumentalist case for persuading politicos to promote women’s participation in politics: democracy needs women, the argument goes, because they bring qualities of tolerance, non-violence, integrity. This is directly linked to the essentialist argument that women are less corrupt than men. And the fact is that women need democracy — democracies have more women in public office, and gains for women in terms of enjoyment of basic rights are more sustainable than in socialist and authoritarian regimes. Myanmar’s case – that of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi put on trial for allegedly breaching the terms of her imprisonment – is a close encounter of the worst democracy kind.

Yet, everyone knows political competition does not happen in an easy arena — competition is biased towards those with money, extensive social networks, plenty of spare time, and masculinity and sheer physical height are advantages too. It is precisely for this reason that women have struggled for so long and with considerable effect to ease off the arena by introducing temporary special measures to give women a head start. Quotas, reserved seats, and other special measures such as free media time aim to compensate for party reluctance to front women and voter resistance to electing them.

Paradoxically, however, these special efforts have not necessarily strengthened women’s capacity to govern on behalf of women. The most effective application of quotas, for instance, is in closed-list proportional representation systems, which undercut candidates’ connection to constituencies and orients their popularity-generating efforts towards their fellow party members. Competition has been so tough for women, and cost them so much, that understandably they have been attracted to less competitive options. Women have stepped into leadership vacuums in countries with some constraints on competition, for instance when parties and trade unions are banned or male leaders are in jail.

Democracy is the handmaiden to capitalism. Money is part of democratic processes, and is the key to effective political leverage. From this perspective, democratic depth from a gender equality perspective is linked to the capacity of economies to support women’s employment particularly in the public sector and in service jobs that permit career flexibility for women. Women still lag considerably behind men in market leadership let alone activity, yet economic leverage is the key to their own empowerment in the private and public spheres. But instead of building market leadership positions, women in the global economy have become the labour force most desired by deracinated capital seeking a labour force with few rights and little political voice.

Given historic and continued exclusion of women from senior management, and given that this will only be exacerbated by the current financial crisis, there is merit in applying temporary special measures to advance women’s market leadership. Norway provides a model: on January 1, 2008 it became compulsory for Norwegian companies to have at least 40 percent female membership on management boards. Today women make up 38 percent of board members, well above the average of 9 percent across Europe. As with quotas for women in political competition, the notion of quotas for women in private sector leadership responds to the perception that without temporary artificial pressure on leadership selection processes, gender biases will continue to produce an overwhelmingly male-dominated leadership. Corporate board quotas temporarily unsettle this male dominance and, in the process it is hoped, enable women to develop the capacities needed — and overcome obstacles — to become market leaders.

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June 15, 2009 Posted by | Profile | Leave a comment

Rt. Honorable Prime Minister of Nepal, Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’


Rt. Honorable Prime Minister of Nepal, Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’

PRACHAND

PRACHAND

Personal Information

Name                                            Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda”

Father’s Name                       Muktiram Dahal

Mother’s Name                     Bhawani Dahal

Place of Birth                        Dhikur Pokhari V.D.C., Ward No-2, Lewade, Kaski

Gandaki Zone

Date of Birth                          26-Mangsir,  2011 B.S. (Dec 11, 1954 A.D.)

Brother and Sisters          1 younger brother, 6 younger sisters

Marital Status                      Married with Sita Poudel, Baishakh 2026

                                 

Family                     

Wife                                            Sita Poudel

Son                                             Prakash Dahal

Daughter in law               Srijana Tripathi

Daughters                           Gyanu Dahal, Renu Dahal, and Ganga Dahal

Migration                           Migrated to Shivanagar V.D.C., Chitawan from Place of Birth in 2019 (B.S.)

                                 

 Academic Qualification

Qualification                             Year                                        Name of institution

Primary Education               –                                               Dhikur Pokhari, Kaski

Secondary Education         –                                               Narayani Bidhya Mandir

Ma.Vi. Shivanagar, Chitawan

I.Sc                                        2027–2029                              Patan Multiple Campus, Lalitpur

B.Sc-Ag.                             2031-2033                               Agriculture Campus–Rampur Chitawan

M.P.A.                                    –                                               T.U. Kathmandu

 

Experience

Teacher in Narayani Bidhya Mandir Ma. Vi. Shivanagar Chitwan, 2029 BS

Teacher in Danda Ma. Vi. Nawalparasi, 2030 BS

Teacher in Bhimodaya Ma. Vi., Arughat Gorkha, 2033-2035 BS

Worked in US AID Nepal, 2032 BS

 

 

Political Life

Party Membership of Pushpa Lal Samuha, 2028 BS

Membership of  “Chautho Mahadhibeshan”, full time member, 2035 BS

Elected District Comittee member of Chitwan District, 2036 BS

Regional bureau member and central committee member of “All Nepal Youth Committee”, 2038

Underground political life started from 2038 and continued till 2063 BS

Central Committee president of All Nepal Youth Committee, 2040 BS

Central Comittee member, CPN (Mashal), 2041 BS

Polite Bureau member, CPN (Mashal), 2042 BS

General Secretary, CPN (Mashal), 2042 BS

General Secretary, CPN (Mashal), 2046 BS

General Secretary, CPN (Unity Centre), 2048 BS

General Secretary, CPN (Maoist), 2051 BS

Chairman, CPN (Maosit), 2057 BS

Supreme Commander, Peoples’ Liberation Army (PLA), 2058 BS

Overground at Kathmandu, 2 Asar 2063 BS

First Prime Minister of Federal Republic of Nepal, 2 Bhadra, 2065 BS 

Experience

  • Teacher in Narayani Bidhya Mandir Ma. Vi. Shivanagar Chitwan, 2029 BS
  • Teacher in Danda Ma. Vi. Nawalparasi, 2030 BS
  • Teacher in Bhimodaya Ma. Vi., Arughat Gorkha, 2033-2035 BS
  • Worked in US AID Nepal, 2032 BS

 

 

Political Life

  • Party Membership of Pushpa Lal Samuha, 2028 BS
  • Membership of  “Chautho Mahadhibeshan”, full time member, 2035 BS
  • Elected District Comittee member of Chitwan District, 2036 BS
  • Regional bureau member and central committee member of “All Nepal Youth Committee”, 2038
  • Underground political life started from 2038 and continued till 2063 BS
  • Central Committee president of All Nepal Youth Committee, 2040 BS
  • Central Comittee member, CPN (Mashal), 2041 BS
  • Polite Bureau member, CPN (Mashal), 2042 BS
  • General Secretary, CPN (Mashal), 2042 BS
  • General Secretary, CPN (Mashal), 2046 BS
  • General Secretary, CPN (Unity Centre), 2048 BS
  • General Secretary, CPN (Maoist), 2051 BS
  • Chairman, CPN (Maosit), 2057 BS
  • Supreme Commander, Peoples’ Liberation Army (PLA), 2058 BS
  • Overground at Kathmandu, 2 Asar 2063 BS

First Prime Minister of Federal Republic of Nepal, 2 Bhadra, 2065 BS

June 1, 2009 Posted by | Profile | Leave a comment