Zero to 40% women representation in GEFONT leadership; Smritee Lama

Kathmandu, GEFONT NEC member and Foreign Department Member Cde.  Smritee Lama has welcomed the ITUC policy on women's representation and emphasized on effective implementation.

Addressing the fourth convention of ITUC Asia Pacific held in Tokyo, Japan on October 7-9, GEFONT National Committee member Lama said that commonly sharing the problem is a solution. From GEFONT's 7th national congress, GEFONT is proud to announce that it has been able to secure 40% percent women participation in the leadership level.

She said that the history of GEFONT is only 30 years, and when GEFONT was established there was zero representation of   women in leadership. With lots of efforts Within 30 years period GEFONT has been able to bring in 40% women in the leadership.

She further  said that many policies have been made to bring women workers to the mainstream of trade unions, not only 25 percent women  participation in every program but also 25 percent mandatory participation of men in every women’s  program.  Because of the male participation in women program, it helps male partners to understand women’s issues.

Stating that GEFONT is affiliated to ITUC in 2006, it is a historic year for GEFONT. From that year onwards, 33 percent women mandatory representation was made in each of GEFONT's committees. On the occasion of 20th year of GEFONT establishment Gender Audit (PGA) has been conducted. As findings of PGA GEFONT is a Gender Friendly Organization and is determined to move forward as Gender Smart.

She further informed that the “Count Us In” the ITUC campaign was very fruitful for GEFONT; she said that GEFONT made it a major issue in the fifth and sixth national women's conferences. GEFONT has forwarded a policy to increase the representation of women in each committee by 33 percent, end gender discrimination, work and life balance, zero tolerance on violence against women and increase of 5 percent women members.

She said, not only in GEFONT but women issue has helped to bring unions together also.  The ITUC affiliated committee Nepal was formed and a joint committee of women (TUCGEP) was also formed and prepared ten points’ common issues of women.She informed that the government of Nepal has included almost all ten points in the policy & Act, she said that now the Joint forum of the Trade Unions of Nepal JTUCC has formed the women’s committee the joint work is moving forward. 

Not only in the world of Work, but also policy level of Nepal has been changed.  She recalled the 2006 landmark declaration of parliament of one third participation in all elected body of state.   Further more informed that the new constitution of Nepal has mandated 33 percent compulsory women participation in the federal parliament, 40% woman mandatory in the local government and 2 woman including one form  the dalit community out of 5 ward representatives is insured. 

Likewise, among The President or deputy president ,  there is a mandatory provision that “one should be a women”.The former chair of GEFONT's women committee is now the honorable president of Nepal, and in last general elections of Nepal, 41 percent of the women have been elected to various bodies, which is a matter of pride for the Nepalese working class. 

She expressed happiness that 40 percent women representation is insured from the ITUC-AP conference.

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