The 601 members of Nepal’s Constituent Assembly who have been elected to make a new constitution face a task that may be daunting, but could be inspiring.
The task, as described in the Interim Constitution, is that of making a new constitution 'by the people of Nepal themselves', through the Constituent Assembly. The process is envisaged as involving the restructuring of the state (of which a major part is the adoption of a federal system): ‘To bring an end to discrimination based on class, caste, language, gender, culture, religion and region' (article 138).
Although the Interim Constitution itself does not offer a clear roadmap for the process—or for the principles to guide the making of the new constitution—there can be no doubt that the process should be one that takes as a minimum the rights of women as provided for in the Interim Constitution. It also needs to build on these rights, producing a constitution that reflects the needs and concerns of the women of Nepal.
What is the relevance of the Constituent Assembly for women?
Who are the women members?
What have past constitutions achieved for women?
What has been the past experience of women in politics in Nepal?
What is the task before the Constituent Assembly?
How will the Constituent Assembly in Nepal work?
How have women elsewhere been involved in making constitutions?
How-if at all-were women involved in making the past constitutions of Nepal?
What are the challenges that are likely to face women in the Constituent Assembly?
How can the women members of the Constituent Assembly organise to make the most of the opportunity?
In what ways can women members of the Constituent Assembly be assisted?
What are the concrete issues for discussion in the new constitution for Nepal?
What is the relevance of foreign experience?