Token Versus Team Work: Women in the Local Bodies of Nepal 2017
The paper discusses the debate of women’s inclusion in public spaces as a token or team work. Women’s inclusion in Nepalese politics since 1950s – whether it is a democratic space or King’s autocratic space – was mostly treated and taken as a token – means of decoration to show that they are kind to women. Moreover, political structure and mind set of male political leaders never allowed women to be a team work in both legislatures and local bodies. Women’s political participation and policy discussion were often prevented by either party whips or making apex political and judicial bodies for dispute resolution. With the local election data 2017 and reviewing the constitutions, policies and directives we will argue that with constitutional and political mandate, elected women in the local bodies cannot be a token but a team work. Women in public space whether as a token or team work is determined by their works and responsibilities. Despite most of the women are elected in deputy posts in both municipalities and rural municipalities in the local body election 2017 but the constitutional mandate recognize them as a team work. For instance deputy mayors and vice-chairs of the local bodies are assigned as a head of judicial committee and planning and monitoring division. Therefore, women in the local bodies cannot be taken as a token but as a team work.
Key Words: Women, Representation, Token, Team Work, and Election