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Nepal gets first woman Chief Justice

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By Gopal Sharma

KATHMANDU (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Sushila Karki became the first female acting Chief Justice of Nepal’s Supreme Court on Wednesday, ending the male domination of top posts in the judiciary.

The Himalayan nation, though still a deeply patriarchal society, is becoming increasingly inclusive, following the end of 10 years of civil war in 2006 and the abolition of the 239-year-old feudal monarchy two years later.

In September last year, a specially elected Constituent Assembly approved the first post-monarchical constitution, which gave women the right to “proportional inclusion” in all government organs.

It also guaranteed equal property rights to daughters and required that the president and vice-president be from different genders and communities.

The Constitutional Council headed by Prime Minister K.P. Oli recommended the appointment of Karki, 63, to replace Kalyan Shrestha, who retired on Tuesday.

Her nomination is expected to be confirmed by a parliamentary committee, though this has not yet been formed because of bickering among political parties.

An Oli aide, Pramod Dahal, said Karki would work as acting Chief Justice until the parliamentary hearing, which is a formality.

The president, who holds a ceremonial position, and the parliament speaker are also women, further signs of change in a society with a tradition of male domination.

The appointment of Karki, who was the most senior judge in the Supreme Court, has been hailed by activists as a milestone in women’s empowerment in Nepal, putting it ahead of its giant neighbor India, which has not had a woman as head of its Supreme Court in 65 years as a democracy.

Karki has the reputation of being a fearless judge with zero tolerance for corruption. She is also known for judgments allowing women to pass their citizenship to their children, previously something only men could do in Nepal.

“She strongly believes that competent women should be in  leadership positions for the emancipation of women,” Hari Phuyal, a senior lawyer and former student of Karki, who began her career as a teacher, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Former colleagues say Karki is known for delivering judgments free of the influence of politics or personal ties.

“Even as a child she treated everyone as equals and encouraged us to go to school,” her younger sibling, Junu Dahal, told the Foundation.

Modest and courteous, Karki is the eldest of seven children in a prosperous farming family in Shankarpur village, a jute-growing area in the eastern plains.

(Editing by Tim Pearce. Credit: The Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women’s rights, trafficking, property rights and climate change.)

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  • Pragya Jha

    Women have proved themselves in every field. They came ahead of the patriarchal society and male domination.

  • Pritam Go Green

    Good enough !!! This will serve as an inspiration for other countries where women empowerment needs to be done.

  • Pashchiema Bhatia

    Women have been struggling for their rights since many years but still there is way too much discrimination in many places.. a lot more changes need to be inculcated

  • Pragya Jha

    Women have proved themselves in every field. They came ahead of the patriarchal society and male domination.

  • Pritam Go Green

    Good enough !!! This will serve as an inspiration for other countries where women empowerment needs to be done.

  • Pashchiema Bhatia

    Women have been struggling for their rights since many years but still there is way too much discrimination in many places.. a lot more changes need to be inculcated

Next Story

Microsoft Announces Indian Languages Support For e-mail Addresses

Microsoft's products will also support additional Indian languages as and when their IDNs and e-mail addresses become available in the future

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Microsoft introduces Indian languages on various of its platforms. Wikimedia Commons
Microsoft introduces Indian languages on various of its platforms. Wikimedia Commons
  • Microsoft announced support in Indian Languages for e-mail
  • There will be 15 Indian languages supported now
  • Indians will be able to use Microsoft in their local languages

Microsoft on Wednesday announced support for e-mail addresses in 15 Indian languages across its apps and services, including Office 365, Outlook 2016, Outlook.com, Exchange Online and Exchange Online Protection (EOP).

Microsoft introduces 15 new indian languages to its support.
Microsoft introduces 15 new Indian languages to its support.

Indian users would be able to use local language e-mail addresses for Outlook accounts on their personal computers, the company said on the occasion of the International Mother Language Day.

It would also allow users to seamlessly send/receive mails to/from local language e-mail addresses via Outlook client on PCs, Outlook.com in addition to Outlook apps for Android and IOS.

“Making e-mail addresses available in 15 languages is an exciting step to making modern communications and collaboration tools more accessible and easier to use for all,” Meetul Patel, COO, Microsoft India, said in a statement.

The Indian languages which will be supported include Hindi, Bengali, etc. Wikimedia Commons
The Indian languages which will be supported include Hindi, Bengali, etc. Wikimedia Commons

“We are making technology use the language of people and not requiring people to first learn the traditional language of technology,” Patel added.

The initiative is part of the company’s ongoing efforts to support Email Address Internationalisation (EAI) across its products and services eco-system and make technology accessible in local languages.

The languages being introduced are those that support Unicode — an international encoding standard for use with different languages and scripts.

Microsoft’s products will also support additional Indian languages as and when their IDNs and e-mail addresses become available in the future, making this feature forward compatible.

Microsoft launches 15 Indian languages in its support. VOA
Microsoft launches 15 Indian languages in its support. VOA

Last month, Microsoft announced the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Deep Neural Networks (DNN) to improve real-time language translation for Hindi, Bengali and Tamil languages.

This technology would help users in getting results that are more accurate and natural while surfing the Internet across any website on the MS Edge browser, Bing search, Bing Translator website, as well as MS Office 365 products like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and Skype. IANS