Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Passage of women rights bill celebrated

Forum for Women Law and Development (FWLD) and other organisations working for the rights of women Monday celebrated the passage of bill amended by the House of Representative (HOR) on September 28 on 56 discriminatory provisions of various Acts to ensure women rights
According to FWLD President Sapana Pradhan Malla, the Discriminatory Laws against women in Nepal conducted by FWLD revealed that there were 173 legal provisions in 83 various laws including the Constitution.
Pradhan said that the reinstated of HoR from the successful historical People's Movement endorsed a landmark proposal to eliminate all forms of discrimination against women on May 30.Addressing a celebration on gender equality, Malla revealed some major provisions amended by the bill. Among them are the previous provision that required a male to receive the summons from a court has been amended allowing any person of the family of any age prescribed by the law to receive it.
She said that the term wife, mother and grandmother have been inserted respectively after the term husband, father and grandfather in various Acts and regulations. Likewise, the provision for divorce in case of no children within 10 years of marriage has been taken out.The newly amended bill has included martial rape as a ground for divorce. The provision has also provided the mother has the first rights to guardianship of child if the child is a minor. The passed bill removed the provision that deprives mother from the guardianship of child in case of second marriage.The provision that a daughter shall return the share of her property received from the parents once she is married has been repealed.
Women can use their movable and immovable property given by the parents freely even after getting married.It has also provided 6 months to 2 years of imprisonment in case any person who performs and seeks abortion on the basis of identification of sex. All the sexual harassments, physical, verbal, written, gesture or any other forms of sexual harassments have been criminalised in the provision of the chapter on Intention to Rape.The definition of rape has been broadened and provided additional punishment to the rapist having HIV positive. It has provided that the consent of the first wife should be taken before entering into polygamy under the prescribed condition by the law.
It has provided 1 to 3 years of imprisonment in case any government employee tries to rape a woman serving a jail term or becomes accomplice to such forms of rape. The different prescribed age for men and women for court marriage has been amended and made 20 years for both the sexes. The provision relating to claimant for the line of succession in various provisions of the various acts and regulations have been amended with the gender equality perspective.The discrimination included in tenant land rights in the land-related laws against married women has been removed. T
he discrimination meted out to the officials appointed by the constitutional council as on uniform allowance has been removed. People from different organisations making remarkable contribution for the rights of women were felicitated at the programme.
Those felicitated were Member of Parliament Kamala Panta, Sushila Nepal, former justice Laxman Prasad Aryal, and member of interim constitution draft committee Chatra Gurung.

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