A Report of the Program on Civic Education
and Woman's Rights
Organized by Modern Kanya Multiple College
9 March 2014
Report prepared by
Vice Principal, KNCM HS School
Bhimsengola, Baneswor, Kathmandu
This program was organized in two sessions.
First one was 'Inaugural Session' and second was 'Workshop.' On
the occasion of 104th "International (Workers) Woman's Day"
this program was organized by Modern Kanya Multiple College in
cooperation with Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES). The program was
chaired by Mr. Ram Prasad Dahal, the chairman of Modern Kanya
Multiple College and the chief guest was honored to the Rt. Honorable
former Prime Minister of Nepal and the president of Unified Communist
Party of Nepal, (Maoist) Pushpa Kamal Dahal. Furthermore, other
distinguished guests were Laxman Prasad Aryal, Ghanashyam Bhushal,
Mahendra Pashwan, leaders from Nepali Congress Party, CPN UML
and UCPN (Maoist) respectively. Some other guests were Devraj
Dahal, Head of FES Nepal Office, Kashiraj Dahal and Sabin Pokhrel.
All the distinguished personalities
of the program were extended warm welcome through a short speech
by Ms. Anita Acharya, a B. A. 3rd year student of the college.
Similarly, Mr. Ram Prasad Dahal delivered a short speech stating
on the objectives of the program, college activities that support
the issues of women and girls and warmly welcome the guests.
In the same vein, Mahendra Pashwan, Ghanashyam Bhushal and Laxman
Prasad Aryal delivered their invaluable views stressing over
the civic education to bring changes in women's lives in Nepal.
More importantly, they focused over the empowerment of women
through education to overhaul in the socio-economic, political
and cultural paradigms of the nation to make the society more
equitable. To do so, they had their say that the government
has to contribute tremendously. Lastly, the Principal of Modern
Kanya Multiple College, Mr. Sabin Pokhrel put forward his views
about the importance of women's empowerment for a family, society
and nation. He also stressed the significant role of Modern
Kanya Multiple College in taking a leading role to educate and
make competent to girls and women in today's society. Finally,
with the consent of the chairman of the program, first session
After a brief interval, the most important
session of the program, second session began with the chairmanship
of Prof. Dr. Bina Poudel. Some dignitaries as guests were Devraj
Dahal, Mrs. Deepa Gautam, director of Nepal Television, Mrs
Samira Poudel, expert on gender issues, Mrs. Anju Karki, Lecturer,
Eva Schiling, Mrs. Sarmila Koirala, Lecturer at MKMC,Ms. Sabina
Koirala, Media person, Kashiraj Dahal,Constitutional expert,
Dr Manju Dahal and reporters Mr. Gyanendra Bhattarai and Mr.
Yadav Bhattarai. Devraj Dahal contributed a short but invaluable
speech highlighting historical evidences of women's rights movements
such as women's right to vote and right to parental property
as well as the freedom and equality of them as equal to men.
Some of his ideas are:
- Civic education should aim to make citizens
aware of enlightenment, freedom, (emancipation) through the
reflection on inner vigilance;
- It helps citizens critically to reflect
on the condition of their existence.
- It fosters popular sovereignty, 'bottom
up' representation and participation in everyday activities
that affect them;
- Socialization is an important part of civic
education. It has to be critical at three levels-family and
society, civic and pious-and liberate citizens from the tutelage
of these and enable them to make self-decision;
- People should have faith; but no blind
faith, they should think rationally;
- Right persons should be elected and selected
at the right place;
- Political, Legal, and development policy
should be self-made on the contextual experience of citizens
and their representatives;
- Only enlightened and active citizens can
lead the change in the country;
- There should be four types of justice;
ecological justice, social justice, gender justice and inter-generational
- We should not ignore the past and our political
history of enlightenement and remain blind to good ideas flowing
- Despite our biological difference, we are
born to learn civic education and exercise equal rights and
There were two personalities who presented
their paper on two distinct titles were Ms. Sabina Koirala,
a journalist and media person and Mr. Kashiraj Dahal, former
secretary of Judicial Council and Chairman of Administrative
Court of Nepal. Two papers presented by those distinguished
personalities were "Gender Equality and Women's Role in
Media" and "Democratic constitutional State and Woman
Right" respectively. In the first paper presented by Sabina
Koirala, she introduced the background information of gender
violence in every society since classical age. Society made
discriminatory systems since women did not have the privileges
of education, health and employment. Her text also subsumes
the following facts:
- Gender equality is an issue of human rights
now in the world.
- People perceive male and female from different
perspectives and behaved them accordingly.
- Gradually, with the amendment in laws and
reformation in entire legal system, forms of discrimination
were narrowed down.
- Some of the efforts are made to equalize
women and empower them such as society free from discrimination
and prejudice, inclusive system for women, special respectful
behavior, special protection, reservation etc.
- Some of the basic rights of women for which
they struggled and have been rigorously demanding for are
right of woman to education, health, right against poverty,
right against violence, right to peace, social right, right
to property, land and right to access to the resources of
production, right to equal wages and salaries for same work,
right to healthy reproduction, right to secrecy and right
- The Interim Constitution of Nepal 2063
(2006) guarantees the right to equality to ensure the right
Nepal has extended its commitments in
the protocol of 1979 and Beijing Action Forum to end all discrimination
against women. She further writes about the current situation
of women in Nepal including some existing social evils such
as Sati practice, Deuki, Jhuma, Badi Practices which have undermined
women's position in society. She states some examples of pioneering
Nepalese women such as Madalaha Singh, Shanta Shrestha, Rashmi
Rajyalaxmi Rana, Prabha Basnet, Bharati Silwal etc. who established
themselves in Radio and Media sector. Now hundreds of Nepalese
women are in media such as FM Radio Stations television stations
and printing houses. But still their presence is very low and
their allowance and salaries are discriminatory. She presents
some statistical data of women's representation in other countries.
She also mentions some current data of women's involvement in
Media centers and highlights the problems they have been facing.
Her paper clearly states that our social culture and customs
are the daunting challenges for women's empowerment and change.
She concluded her ideas with vehement stress over education
which can only be a catalyst to overhaul the status of women
in Nepal and the globe.
Mrs. Deepa Gautam, Director of Nepal
Television, reviewed the paper presented by Sabina Koirala on
Gender Equality and Woman's Role in Media. Basically, she previewed
the text with general ideas to specific ones from the Nepalese
data and practice to the global scenario of women's conditions
and she praised such beautifully prepared paper. However, she
argued her points as mentioned here: The description of the
issue is quite interesting because she included basic facts
of history like Nepalese women's contribution in Nalapani war
during Anglo-Nepal war. Her data about women's involvement is
praiseworthy though she mentioned 24% figure of Kathmandu. She
has written much about inequalities but what could be those
particular inequalities, they are not specified. The crust of
gender based violence and gender inequalities is the prejudice
mindset of men in the society. The idea of 'not establishing
separate media house for women for their equality rather eliminating
differences in co-media house' is worth for making sound and
gender friendly environment of equal work.
Some Comments on the paper
- It should be clear that on the basis of
what materials they are assigned to do their work.
- The table of chart and figure should be
of specific year rather than only data.
- Women should have masculine thought so
as to compete and equalize themselves.
- Quality of women's work should be increased
not the quantity of workers.
- Women friendly provision should be made
at the work place. She has indeed worked hard in preparing
the paper to be presented in the program.
Second reviewer of Sabina Koirala's paper is Sarmila Koirala,
lecturer of Modern Kanya Multiple College. Her reviews can
be mentioned below.
- Paper presenter has provided ample background
information about gender inequalities and differences.
- She has made very simple but is worth of
significance and importance
- Very explicit descriptions with present
situation of women and their working conditions in media centers
- She comments that specific details of far-reaching
areas should be made available
- Big efforts of Media House for women should
be done to gain the elevation of status.
- Figure of current year should be mentioned
so as to authenticate the ideas in paper.
- Though the number of female workers is
here but it is quite miserable.
- Women's number of employment is very low
in electronic media so this should be increased.
Second paper, "Democratic Constitutional
State and Woman Rights" was presented by constitutional
expert, Kashiraj Dahal. His paper deals with two prominent issues,
a state with its salient features of democratic and constitutional
aspects and specified rights of women. On the backdrop of his
paper, it presents the ideas of formation of a state with the
contribution and equal participation of both men and women.
A state formation suggests the growth of state mechanism, strong
relation between state and society and defensive power against
external intervention. Therefore, the core factor required for
a strong state is stable peace that should prevail only in a
stable state. Nepal should have the same feature to build a
nation in post war period, ending protracted transitional condition.
Justice should be guaranteed to the people
through democratic constitution along with physical and economic
development. Political stakeholders should have explicit ideology,
strong will power; farsightedness in leadership, sustainable
governmental aptitude can only take a state towards progressive
change. Some factors like growing impunity, ignorance to laws,
irregularities and corruption, intolerance of political parties
to each other, split of parties, immature constitutional and
democratic culture and blatant ignorance of people's mandate
and abuse of power and authority are immensely hindering the
unity and strength of a state. There should be consistent and
sustainable peace, rule of law, sovereignty in people, fundamental
rights, freedom and equality, social justice, people's government,
periodical election, separation and balance of power, press
freedom, end of any form of autocracy, competitive democracy,
proper use of economic resources etc. to create a fully democratic
state. Therefore, a democratic state can only ensure women's
rights. There should be political and democratic culture to
make institutional development in a state. The paper states
that modern democratic state assimilates the following basic
- Sovereignty vested to people
- Supremacy of Constitution
- Guarantee of Human Rights
- Rule of Law
- Periodical Election
- Pluralism and Competitive Multiparty System
- Independent Judiciary
- Fully Press Freedom
- Constitutional Guarantee of Independent
Agencies for Responsible and Accountable Government
Furthermore, this paper clearly states some
provision about inclusive system to guarantee the representation
of women in all mechanism of state. It includes the historical
data about women's right like of New Zealand which guaranteed
political right to them in 1893. The data also suggest women's
representation in executive, legislative, and judiciary along
with other service sectors. Likewise, it speaks for the constitutional
provision and guarantee for women's empowerment with the concept
of special protection and equity, non-discrimination, preferential
treatment, positive discrimination and reservation. Though many
instances of violence against women have been taking place in
the country, greater efforts have also been made to minimize
and eliminate such inhumane acts through legal and constitutional
amendments and provisions. Mr. Dahal also shared some wonderful
and interesting experiences of his visit in the country and
Mrs. Anju Karki, Lecturer at Padma Kanya Campus:
She appreciated the entire presented by Mr, Kashiraj Dahal since
it is a precise text about democratic constitutional state and
women's right. She pointed out some positive aspects of the
paper such as Nepal's position in Asia and in the world in terms
of women's rights and legal provisions with the instances of
violence against women and their status. Her main points are
- In terms of women rights promotion and
their empowerment, many non-governmental organizations are
working. So their activities should be counted.
- The paper should clearly state the exact
figure of women's approach for women's rights.
- Along with urban women, women of rural
areas should also know about women rights,
- Women should acknowledge their own rights,
they should equally make approach to exercise them,
- It is highly admired for the comparative
analysis of women in the world, particularly with Asian countries,
- Special details about the constitutional
development where women's status and progress have been mentioned,
- The paper has included some historical
facts in chronological development that is worth of big applause
for his sincere hard work.
In the same line, Ms. Eva Schiling, who works
for Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung as an intern, also claimed some
interesting ideas as political matters should be solved first
to ensure people's (women) rights. It is very important to talk
about women and their specific rights and they should be better
empowered for their all round progress and change. After the
presentation of these thematic papers, there was a short question
answer session in which Prof. Madhav Prasad Ghimire and Dr.
Manju Dahal raised some interesting questions. First he asked
"Why is there the issue of women's rights only now since
many men have been facing similar situations in many areas?
There should be eloquent analysis and description of the topic.
Newly employed may get depressed at work place but they should
have enormous courage to deal with their problems. There should
be clear explanation about gender issues And Dr. Dahal asked
"What could be the personal view of Mr. Dahal about the
issues of women" and Mr. Dahal replied to both of them
stating that in a male dominated society men are always superior
and they have been enjoying privileges. So women have been underprivileged
and being governed by men. Therefore, women should be encouraged
and promoted through legal and constitutional provisions as
well as practical measures.
His personal view towards women is always
full of respect and friendly since he knows men and women are
two wheels of the same chariot.
Finally, the chairperson of the second session,
Prof Dr. Bina Poudel concluded the program extending her thanks
to both presenters for their wonderful and resourceful papers.
She also highlighted the issue of women's roles in society and
state and appealed all women to learn first to compete with
men through their ideas, skills, knowledge and competence. Then
Mr. Yadav Bhattarai on behalf of the reporters reported very
briefly about entire program and committed to submit all details