Ladies and Gentlemen,
First of all, I would like to thank the organizers for inviting me to attend this side event. I would also like to extend warm felicitations to all distinguished participants attending this sideline meeting. It is heartening to note that ICAPP has grown from strength to strength over the last 14 years and given us an important forum to voice our opinions of how we can change Asia for better. With continued resurgence of Asia in the 21st century, we need to be prepared from all perspectives to manage it well and build a stronger future in the interests of all.
Asia has a vast and diverse population of more than four billion. Even though politics has been the dominated by men in Asia like anywhere else in the world, women politicians in Asia have left distinct footprints on this soil. Many more women politicians have entered the fray of politics in Asia recently.
Women constitute half of the Asian population and it can be expected that their share in the political arena should also be fifty percent eventually to make Asian politics more representative and democratic. Women are mothers and first teachers to their children, their teachings have lasting influence in the making of their personality. Good women leaders help produce good future leaders.
I believe that every Asian nation should foster good environment for electing more women political leaders at all levels of national governance. As women’s representation grows, politics tend to become more humane, peaceful and embodied with democratic ideals. These positive attributes get transferred and transplanted in international exchanges and cooperation also. We all vie for an Asian community based on friendship, peace, mutual respect and cooperation.
I think that more conscious efforts are necessary to elect more women politicians in the Asian political leadership positions. In Nepal, we have around 30 percent women parliamentarians at present as a result of the conscious decision of the State to maintain 33 percent women at every level of governance. This is one of highest record of women politicians elected in parliament in Asia. The decision of allocating 33 percent seats to women was taken by the Government of Nepal in 2006 when the late G. P. Koirala, my father, was the Prime Minister. I am confident that this growing number of women politicians has changed the political landscape of Nepal and brought in positive impact in the political thinking and its working modalities.
Women politicians keep the power to make the world an extended family of love and respect. The gaps that have been created in the political firmament due to low representation of women should be fulfilled so that the beneficial influence of their participation can improve the political situation both within the nation as well as at the regional and international levels.
I thank you for your kind attention!