Committed to Social Democracy...
FES in Nepal
FES Worldwide
Media Development
Trade Union Development
Regional Cooperation
Conflict Resolution
Good Governance
Past Activities
FES in the Press
Annual Reports
Seminar/Workshop Reports
List of FES Publications
Book Reviews
FES Publications in University Curricula

Book Review:

Gender And Democracy

A compendium of candid discussions on a complex issue

Gender and Democracy in Nepal

Edited by Laxmi Keshari Manandhar and Krishna B. Bhattachan

Published by Central Department of Home Science-Women’s Studies Program, Padma Kanya Multiple Campus

Prices: Not discloseds

Pages: 230


Following the restoration of multiparty democracy, many new jargons have appeared in social and intellectual discussions at various levels. From women’s empowerment to social justice, from racial discrimination to gender issues and from good governance to corruption, Nepalese intellectuals have debated all aspects of the issues involved. What changes have these discussions brought to society? That remains to be seen.

Gender perspective is one of the hotly debated issues of Nepalese society today. But only a few people understand what the discussions are all about. This may be one of the reasons why whenever gender-related discussions take place, the same set of faces are seen making the presentations. It seems that only a select group of intellectuals has acquired enough expertise on the matter.

In an effort to generate more informed debate on gender issues, the Central Department of Home Science-Women’s Studies Program of Padma Kanya Multiple Campus organized a talk program with support from the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung. This book, an outcome of the seminar, includes articles presented by various scholars on the legal, social, cultural, economic and democratic perspectives of gender issues.

"When we talk about gender, we should first demystify a popular misconception that it is about women only and that it has nothing to do with men. As gender is socially constructed, it is indeed equally important for both women and men," said Laxmi Keshari Manandhar, head of the department.

Although the articles incorporated in the book deal with all aspects of gender issues, the discussions proceed mostly from a theoretical perspective rather than from the experiences and experiments in Nepal. Most of the authors are well-known personalities in the seminar circuit, including Kapil Shrestha, Dr. Meena Acharya, Krishna B. Bhattachan, Durga Ghimire, Sapana Malla Pradhan and Yubaraj Sangraula. Along with old hands, authors like Bindu Pokharel, Mira Mishra, Harinder Thapaliya, Indira Sharma, Soni Joshi and Yasso Kanta Bhattachan (Gauchan) have also made impressive contributions.

In their article "Gender and Democracy in Nepal", Bindu Pokharel and Mira Mishra discuss the participation of men and women in the democratic process.

They conclude that women’s participation in the political process is negligible compared to men’s. "Women’s lives have been dramatically changed in recent years. There is tremendous improvement in their conditions, as more and more women are getting education, entering the labor market and have access to health care facilities. However, gender inequality still persists," write Pokharel and Mishra.

Indira Sharma explains the history of women and their contributions in the context of development in Nepal. Sharma holds the views that Nepal has been able to make advances in gender sensitization.

Advocate Sapana Malla Pradhan discusses the issue of women’s inheritance rights. She explains the legal and other lapses in dividing equal property among men and women. Kapil Shrestha deals with the human and political rights of women.

Dr. Meena Acharya’s article, "Gender Equality and Democracy: The Economic Aspect", analyses the constitutional rights of women and their participation in the area of gender.

Gender issues are too complex and varied to be encapsulated in a single volume. Nevertheless, this book should be able to encourage a more open and candid debate on a subject Nepal will find itself discussing for a long while.

SPOTLIGHT The National Newsmagazine, Vol. 20, No. 42, May 04 - May 10 , 2001

Copyright©2001. Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, Nepal Office
The information on this site is subject to a
disclaimer and copyright notice.