More women in law a must for justice in Nepal

27 Oct 2006

imageMore women in law a must for justice in Nepal

Nepal's legal system will continue to fail women until at least one-third of legal professionals are female, said United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Deputy Resident Representative, Ghulam Isaczai, earlier today during the launch of a new book aimed at inspiring gender justice.

The book, entitled: Gender Justice, is a compilation of rulings and conventions that protect women's legal rights. It was produced as part of the UNDP supported 'Mainstreaming Gender Equity Programme,' which works to increase the number of women in Nepal's Government institutions, including the legal sector.

With 95 percent of Nepal's practicing lawyers being male, and only five out of the nation's 250 judges being female, Mr. Isaczai said that law in Nepal was still seen as a male profession. He urged the establishment to consider ways of encouraging more women to enter the practice of law. He suggested law course conductors aim to take in 50 percent female students. He also suggested that a mentorship programme be established to support aspiring female lawyers.

"Until at least one-third of Nepal's lawyers and judges are female, women in Nepal will continue to suffer systematic discrimination when they attempt to seek justice," he said. "By this I mean that our mothers, wives, sisters and daughters will be unable to stand equal to men before the law'unable to get fair hearings, especially in cases of gross human rights violations like domestic violence or rape. This is unjust and against numerous UN conventions ratified by Nepal,' Mr. Isaczai said.