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This year, Nepali women made history when 197 women from across the country were elected to the Constituent Assembly. We, the WomenAct members, call on them and their male counterparts to write a new constitution that recognizes women’s equal participation in all aspects of nation building.

Members of the WomenAct network first came together through a series of workshops led by an international non-governmental organization, the Centre for Development and Population Activities (CEDPA), on how women could inform the drafting of the new constitution and provide leadership in forging Nepal’s future. These workshops brought Nepali women together with national constitutional experts and women from other countries including South Africa and Kenya who have led constitutional reforms.

The WomenAct network, a new coalition of more than 36 Nepali women’s groups and individuals is committed to a peaceful and equitable Nepal. It was formed with the mission to unite women for transformative change in Nepal. It’s ” Charter for Women: Ensuring Equality through Nepal’s Constitution” was drafted to amplify the voices of women during the drafting of the new constitution. The Charter calls for the passage and ratification of a Nepali constitution that reflects both equality and equity in the post-conflict era and in Nepal’s progress towards sustainable peace.

The WomenAct Charter is the culmination of a series of consultations between the new women’s network and other members of civil society at the district and national levels over the past year. The draft was developed after reviewing past and present Nepali constitutions and constitutions from around the world, including South Asia, South Africa, Rwanda and East Timor. The charter also includes specific social, economic and political safeguards necessary to ensure Nepali women are able to live lives of safety, dignity and respect. Most importantly, the charter calls for the inclusive participation of civil society women in the democratic process.

WomenAct in collaboration with International IDEA is now involved in a series of Round table discussions and interaction programs with CA members, national experts, media and civil society on topics of importance in the drafting of the new constitution.

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