Patriarchal mindset hurdle in giving opportunities to women – Lawmaker Gautam   

Kathmandu, Nov 3:

Nepali Congress leader and lawmaker Pratima Gautam is of the view of changing the traditional trend of holding lengthy deliberations on the annual policies and programmes of the government.

She was referring to the long discussions in parliament on the government’s policy and programme document and the budget heading, but suggestions given by parliament being largely going unheeded and without results.

Stating that the debate and discussions are meaningless if they do not incorporate the suggestions and feedback given by the people’s representatives on the needs and priorities of the country, district, election constituency and the people, she stressed on the need of improvement in such aspects which only consume time but give no results.

“This is my first experience as a lawmaker. The presentation of all MPs is effective when it comes to putting one’s views in parliament. However, the parliament this time ended without making adequate number of laws. Several bills were like ‘ready-made’ bills and they had to be amended,” the lawmaker from the Nepali Congress said.

Gautam started her political career as a student leader of the Nepal Students Union. She became the general secretary of the Union. She was the president of the Free Students Union at Padmakanya Campus chapter. Gautam is currently the central committee member of the Nepali Congress.

She said no matter how many provincial and local governments are there in the country, the electorate still expected much from the federal parliamentarians on topics related to the physical infrastructure development in their area.

Lawmaker Gautam opined that the voters need to be informed about the major role and responsibility of the lawmakers – formulating laws. According to her the lawmakers are still expected by the electorate to ‘bring development projects’ in their areas and many a lawmaker are engrossed doing that while neglecting important meetings and discussions in the parliament and the parliamentary committees.

She said it would be difficult for the lawmakers to secure votes in their support in the next election if they neglected the expectations of the electorate in their constituencies and nobody should underestimate this factor.

Parliamentarian Gautam also expressed her dissatisfaction over the way some lawmakers put their views in parliamentary debates as if they are addressing a political rally. She said their statements were lengthy sermons rather than backed by logic, facts and data, contributing to the policy.

Saying although the constitution has guaranteed women representation in all the State bodies, she shared her experiences that still the traditional mindset and patriarchal thinking is at work when it comes to providing equal opportunities to women.

Expressing her deep concern over the burgeoning corruption in every sphere of society, lawmaker Gautam stressed on the need of strong political will to stamp out this vice. She is of the view that corruption is something that can be controlled by promoting moral and ethical values in society rather than through legal means alone.

She further said our society was moving towards negativity more than positivity also because of the social sites. “Many of the things that are shared on the social sites are misinformation, disinformation and fake than being based on truth and facts. This is found to be fomenting hate speech in the social media, which will disturb social harmony,” she expressed her worry.

Parliamentarian Gautam viewed that the exodus of youths to abroad and the brain drain is due to the impact of the drawn-out transition and unemployment, poor quality of education and lack of opportunities at home.

She pointed out the need of all the political parties forging a common understanding and working together on addressing the burning issues of the nation like tackling unemployment, rescuing the economy from a recession, alleviating people’s suffering and strengthening the national unity.

(Narayan Neupane/RSS)

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