Female turnout disappoints Election Commission

April 02, 2017

The Kathmandu Post, Manish Gautam, 2nd April 2017, Kathmandu

A low turnout of female applicants has characterised ‘Myadi’ police or temporary police recruitment exercise despite efforts from the Election Commission (EC) to hire at least 50 percent women for the local level elections. Of the total 179,486 applications, women account for only 14 percent or 24,605.

The government on March 24 had opened vacancies for 75,000 temporary police, inviting applications from people between the age group of 18 and 54 years for deployment during the local level election scheduled for May 14. 

With the application deadline ending on Friday, the Nepal Police Headquarters started reviewing the applications on Saturday. The names of successful candidates will be announced on April 4 and they will put through a 13-day training beginning on April 7. “We’re currently reveiwing the applications,” said Senior Superintendent of Police Sarbendra Khanal, spokesperson for the Nepal Police. These temporary police, who will work for 55 days, will get a monthly salary of Rs17,230 and other allowances.

According to the Nepal Police data, the far-western region has the highest number of applicants at 46,431 of which 6,389 are females. The mid-western region has the second highest applicants at 44,109, but again with a low women participation of 12 percent. 

The highest male-female disparity in applications is seen in the eastern region, where only 11 percent of the applicants are females. Expectedly, at 25 percent Kathmandu Valley has the highest female participation.

With the low number of applications from women, the Election Commission has asked the Home Ministry to give priority to women applicants. 

“We’ve asked the Home Ministry to accord top priority to women applicants while recruiting the temporary police,” said Election Commissioner Ila Sharma. 

Experts believe that the social stigma suggesting that women are feeble and cannot be part of security system keeps women away from applying for the job. 

“Our society does not promote women into security system because of fear of abuse and harassment within the system. The security agencies have also failed to convince the society that women are safe in their system,” said Dr Indra Adhikari, a security expert. 

Even during the normal times very few women apply for various positions at security agencies. As this is a temporary job, many aspiring women might not be interested.” The Home Ministry has stated that 226,000 security personnel from Nepal Police, Armed Police Force, Nepal Army and temporary police will be mobilised during the local level elections. According to the election security plan, the Nepal Police will hold the command inside the polling stations, with the APF providing the backup security. The Army will be mobilised on the peripheral areas of the polling stations and the temporary police will arrange the voters in queues.

A total of 44,724 temporary police personnel were deployed during the second CA elections in 2013.



    Total        Male    Female    Male%    Female%
Eastern    18,996    11%    16,955    2,041    89    11
Central    34,983    19%    29,379    5,604    84    16
Western    27,857    16%    24,201    3,656    87    13
Mid-Western    44, 109    25%    38,939    5,170    88    12
Far-Western    46,431    26%    40,042    6,389    86    14
Valley    7,110    4%    5,365    1,745    75    25
    179,486    100%    154,881    24,605    86    14