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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

SHARE
  • 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

Nepal Saves Its Tiger Population, Doubles It

The latest national tiger survey was held from November 2017 to April this year in the trans-boundary Terai Arc Landscape with the help of camera traps and surveys.

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Nepal Tiger
Nepal's tiger population doubles. Flickr

Nepal has been able to almost double the number of wild tigers within a decade.

The report released on the occasion of the National Conservation Day states that the number of tigers across the country has reached 235, Xinhua news agency reported on Monday.

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Already a tourist attraction, Nepal holds immense potential to be a loved holiday destination; Source: Pixabay

The tiger census of 2009 had put the number of wild cats at 121, which has nearly doubled in a decade.

There were 198 tigers in Nepal according to the last survey in 2013.

The latest growth has raised hopes for the Himalayan country to meet the international target of doubling the population of tigers by 2022 as per the global commitment.

Nepal Tiger
There were 198 tigers in the country according to the last survey in 2013. Flickr

According to a statement issued by World Wide Fund (WWF) Nepal on Sunday, Nepal is the first country to achieve global standards in managing tiger conservation areas, an accreditation scheme governed by the Conservation Assured Tiger Standards.

Also Read: Scientists Try to Map Animal Genes to Save Them From Extinction Down The Line

The latest national tiger survey was held from November 2017 to April this year in the trans-boundary Terai Arc Landscape with the help of camera traps and surveys. (IANS)