This paper discusses women’s participation in governance (local, district and central level), describes initiatives taken to increase women’s involvement, and highlight factors that facilitate or inhibit women’s participation in public activities, including governance. The arrangement of quota for women in local and national governance through policy and legal instruments have made a difference in the way the public governance landscape looks at present in terms of gender representation. The affirmative action taken by the state and its implications for women’s empowerment will be examined by presenting selected case studies. I will also discuss some socially and culturally grounded ideals on the issues of women’s involvement in public arenas. The information comes from a study that looked at the status (depth and breadth) of women’s participation in the decentralization process under different contexts in Nepal.