Nepalese women are playing a greater role in politics and economics these days, but their participation in politics is far from the 50 percent that would represent equal and fair representation. More than 95 percent of Nepalese women have been affected by the violence. Since the conflict started, rape and kidnappings have increased. Prostitution has increased. Kidnappings and torture still take place. The forced recruitment of young women into the criminal forces is another serious issue.
During the 1980s, participation of women in Nepal’s political and economic sectors was very low. The United Nations’ declaration of an International Women’s Decade (1975-1985) started discussion and debate on women’s rights. Yet the role played by women in the development of the country remained insignificant. The nation has yet to realize the importance of eradicating discrimination against women. Most women, especially in rural areas, are incapable of fighting for their rights.
Democratic reforms in 1990 provided an opportunity for some women to become active. Women’s organizations arose and offered support to women who wanted to share their problems and experiences, but after a few years they disappeared. Nowadays women’s organizations are satisfied with carrying out small programs for women, but they are not bringing any real change in the status of women in Nepal.