Inside Magazine | What You Think
Reactions to the First Woman President
REACTIONS to the first WOMAN PRESIDENT …
Assistant Project Manager, CWIN Nepal
I think this is a huge step, but at the same time we have to seehow far this step will actually contribute and take Nepali women towards their development and inclusion in our country’s context. I am very much looking forward to seeing how this position of power, which is now with a woman, will help in giving us a sense of direction in fighting for the rights of women and gender related issues. Having a woman president now has huge challenges and a lot of questions have been raised regarding her capabilities which I think would not have happened if a man had been elected. This shows us how tough it is still to have a conducive environment which empowers women into taking positions of leadership and sustaining themselves. The question now is whether this leadership will be able to overcome the challenges in creating a gender friendly society or will it be a position which will be over ruled by the age old traditions of male dominancy?
Issues regarding women’s rights and gender equality are a frequent topic of discussion in many countries. For a developing country like Nepal to have an elected female president is a huge milestone. If the participation of women demanding for various rights and reservations in different fields could be increased by 50 percent, Nepali women will be hailed praiseworthy by the world. I think prioritising on education and awareness regarding gender equality can help improve the current situation or the standing of women in our society. If the newly elected female President carries out her duty well or brings even the slightest of positive changes in the country, then it will clear any doubts men may have towards their female counterpart. Her accomplishment will eventually prove Republic Nepal’s success.
Dr. Shreyashi Tuladhar
The presidency should be a stepping stone for women empowerment and not a one-time affair. I hope women excel in the field of politics, health, technology, education so that more women are recruited to lead, and gender inequality is not the status quo. I hope she proves “the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world”
Any woman who understands the problems of running a home will be nearer to understanding the problems of running a country said Margaret Thatcher. Bidhya Devi Bhandari is the first female president of Nepal and holds the victory for millions of Nepali women who have been largely ignored in all aspects of Nepalese society. She is a symbol of courage, power and strength. There are only a handful of female leaders who have made the world their oyster. Their consistent dedication opened up new doors to all of us. This is revolution for Nepalese women – especially as they are seen only fit for housework. She is a true inspiration and her continuous contribution to the nation gives us hope and a future.
Senior Client Service Executive, A.D. Factor
It is definitely a big milestone in Nepali history that a woman has been elected for the significant and honourable position of head of state, and it feels really proud to be one of those to witness such a historic moment. However, the Constitution of Nepal has restricted the president from exercising executive powers and the position has been stated as ceremonial. Personally speaking, the election of a female to the post of Prime Minister would have been more welcoming and warm as the Prime Minister is the chief of the government. Still, it cannot be denied that that day is not too far as I believe the nomination of female president has opened the doors of optimism and opportunities. So wishing the first female president of Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal a successful tenure, I hope other women will draw inspiration from this and go on to make their names big!
Sumina Rai Karki
In terms of visibility of women in a male-dominated political sphere, a woman president can be viewed as groundbreaking. But we have to be cognizant about several things. First, the position of president in Nepal itself is ceremonial. Hence, the president has minimal role in statecraft and governance. Furthermore, women’s representation in the state-mechanisms and politics has been mere tokenism despite their significant contribution in several political events that have changed Nepal’s political landscape. A woman president, in the present context, is just another extension of male tokenism culture, where women leaders have been participating happily. And they are not going to challenge this status quo because it benefits women of certain class. Sadly, this will help to continue patriarchal hegemony.