Jamphu, the elected member for Kanakasundari RM

Jhampu is an elected member of the Kanakasundari Rural Municipality in Jumla, and represents one of the fourteen thousand women who have a seat in the local government. Since the introduction of Nepal’s Federal Constitution, the participation of women in government affairs at all levels has become mandatory. However, there are challenges many women face when speaking up in the decision making process. Around 12% of Nepal’s women are illiterate, and many have limited knowledge and skills about government processes, laws and regulations.

When Jamphu attended the first Kanakasundari Municipal Council meeting she didn’t know much about her rights and responsibilities as an elected member. Most of the decisions made in relation to the first budget were done by male members of the group, resulting in only a small amount being allocated to women, children, the elderly, Dalits [marginalised caste] and people living with disability. The female members supported the budget without questioning it or proposing any amendments,

INF organised an orientation program about planning and budgeting under its POWER [Promotion of Women’s Empowerment and Rights] Project, where women learnt about constitutional provisions, laws, regulations and gained knowledge about their legal rights and status in attending further meetings.

Jamphu says, “The training enhanced my knowledge, skills, role and responsibilities to table new proposals and amendments in the Council. Now I am in a position to debate and defend my proposals strongly – my male counterparts cannot override women’s ruling this time.”

Jamphu, together with other elected women, says she will proudly present the case for an inclusive and gender friendly budget in the upcoming council meeting.

The POWER Project receives support from the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).

 

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