My Republica, 21 June 2017
Over 5,000 women have been elected to the newly created local units in the first round of local elections held in provinces 3, 4 and 6.
According to details provided by the Election Commission (EC), 5,445 out of the total 13,038 elected to various positions at the local units are women. The election commission has already published the results of all 283 local units that went to the polls except Bharatpur Metropolitan City.
Of the 96 municipalities that went to polls, women chiefs have been elected only in 4 municipalities while 87 women were successful in getting elected as deputy chiefs. Out of the 186 rural municipalities in the phase one polls, women chiefs have been elected in 8 and women deputy chiefs in 164.
Most of the women candidates have bagged posts at the municipalities and rural municipalities. The election law has a provision requiring the fielding of opposite genders for the chief and deputy chief of any given local unit. Apart from this, the political parties need to field at least two women members including a Dalit woman in each ward.
UML female leaders have bagged three mayoral posts, the most by women candidates from any party. And out of 53 deputy chiefs of municipalities bagged by the UML, 48 are women.
Only a single woman mayor was elected from the Nepali Congress while the party won the chiefs of 32 municipalities. Similarly, Congress won 25 women deputy mayoral posts, UML women bagged 48 deputy mayorships, Maoists 13, Rastriya Prajatantra Party 2 and Nepal Workers and Peasants Party 1.
Similarly, Nepali Congress has won the chiefs of 72 rural municipalities. Of these, only 4 were women. Only two women chiefs each of rural municipalities were elected from both the UML and the Maoist party.
Altogether 53 women deputy chiefs of rural municipalities were elected from Nepali Congress, 78 from UML, 31 from the Maoists, 2 from RPP and 1 from Rastriya Janamorcha.
Altogether only 2,596 women and only 2,452 Dalit women were elected from the respective reserved quotas. Besides the reserved seats, 106 women managed to secure victory through open competition.
Women representation is very low except in the reserved seats. Only eight percent of the total number of candidates fielded for chiefs of local units was female.
The representation of women candidates at ward level is even lower than at the rural municipalities and municipalities. Only four percent women candidates were fielded for heads of ward committees.