As per data shared by the Election Commission (6th May, 2022), a total of 145,010 candidates are contesting the local level elections – of the 145,010 candidates, 89, 314 are males and 55,696 are females. By the face of it, the stats look decent (not equal, but decent) = 61.59% males and 38.41% females.
But a closer look into the data paints an entirely different picture, and because we are a misguided news outlet who believes that gender inequality does exist within our social and political structure, we went ahead and analysed the data to suit our narrative.
In the upcoming local level elections, Nepal will vote for its respective mayor/deputy mayor or chairperson/vice chairperson depending upon their respective metropolitan, sub-metropolitan, municipality or rural municipality status. Additionally, each voter will also vote for 4 ward members – of which two are reserved for women (Ward Member Female & Ward Member Female from the Dalit community).
A total of 48,884 candidates (25,599 Ward Member Female & 23,285 Ward Members Female from the Dalit community) are contesting for these positions. That leaves a remaining 6,812 females contesting other positions such as mayor, deputy mayor, chairperson, vice chairperson, ward chairperson and other regular ward members.
Removing the compulsory female representation from the number of candidates leaves us with 96,126 candidates contesting other positions – that’s a mere 7.07% female candidacy representation. Is this a more accurate gender representational picture of the local level elections?
Furthermore, Nepal’s constitution also mandates that political parties must field at least one woman candidate between mayor and deputy mayor, and between chair and deputy chair of rural municipalities. Here, too women are relegated to the deputies of each position.
3,238 candidates are contesting for the position of mayor in Nepal – of which 3,009 are males and 229 are females. Meanwhile, amongst the 1,964 candidates contesting for the post of deputy mayor, 1,434 are female and 530 are males.
Similarly, in the chairperson for rural municipalities segment, there are a total of 3,092 candidates – of which 2,937 are males and 155 are females. For the 2,163 candidates contesting for the deputy chairperson’s seat, 1,643 are females and 520 are males.
Meanwhile, in the race for ward chairperson, where there is no constitutional mandate for gender representation, of the total 32,496 contestants, 31,549 are males and 947 are females.