A screengrab of an interview with Radha Pokharel, who recently declared she would run for a parliamentary seat in Kathmandu.

As the date for filing nominations for the November general elections nears, various independent candidates have announced plans to contest the polls for seats in Parliament. Radha Pokharel, president of Nepal Capital Market Investors’ Association, has hinted she eyes the Kathmandu-4 seat.

Nepali Congress General Secretary Gagan Thapa and CPN-UML’s Head of Foreign Affairs Rajan Bhattarai are expected frontrunners for the seat. (Watch Pokharel’s interview with Nepal Khabar here).

On September 14, Pokharel, who had only a few days ago declared her candidacy, told Nepal Khabar

Today, women take up half of the sky [of the country]. A lot of incidents such as rape and murder of women are happening these days. Since none of the women MPs have spoken up in Parliament about these issues, I shall be speaking on their behalf.

Radha pokharel

Nepal Check‘s fact-check found Pokharel’s claim to be false.

Let’s look at some instances when members of the House of Representatives have raised concerns about violence against women.

  • The Federal Parliament, which convened for the first time on March 15, 2018, passed three pieces of legislation during its first month-long session.

  • During the subsequent budget session, former minister Rekha Sharma and other lawmakers on July 13, 2018  demanded tough action against those responsible for violence against women across the country.

  • On July 26, 2018, Nirmala Pant, a 13-year-old girl was killed after being raped in Mahendranagar, the headquarters of Kanchanpur district. Three days later, women lawmakers in the House of Representatives demanded that the killer be apprehended.

  • Speaking during Zero Hour of House of Representatives on August 6, 2022, parliamentarian Samina Hussain, demanded that the House be apprised about relevant authorities’ initiatives to reduce cases of violence against women as cases of rape and murder were on the rise in the country.

  • On August 24, 2019, Speaker Krishna Bahadur Mahara presented a resolution to stop violence against women. The motion demanded an end to all forms of violence against women. Rekha Sharma, Pushpa Bhusal, and Binda Pandey were among 22 lawmakers who registered the proposal in the House of Representatives.

  • Speaking during Zero Hour in Parliament on September 13, 2018, women lawmakers Binda Pandey, Shanta Chaudhari, Sarawat Ara Khanam, Sita Devi Yadav, Sujata Koirala, Sujata Pariyar condemned the government for failing to track down Pant’s killers.

  • On September 16, 2018, Manita Kumari Chaudhari said there had been a spate of rapes and killings across the country and questioned why the government was unable to identify Nirmala Pant’s killer. “Is the federal administration dozing off like Kumbhakarna?” she asked. On the same day, Pramila Rai also drew the government’s attention to the lack of progress in the Pant’s murder case.

  • During a House of Representatives session on June 15, 2022, Tham Maya Thapa called for justice for the rape victim Niharika Rajput.

  • On July 26, 2022, woman parliamentarians, including Ganga Chaudhari, drew the government’s attention that Nirmala Pant’s murderer had still not been apprehended even after four years.

The timeline above demonstrates that female MPs have spoken up frequently in Parliament on the increment in violence against women cases in the country.

The issue of violence against women has been hotly debated in Parliament as a result of the Nirmala Pant case.

Therefore, Radha Pokharel’s claim that women lawmakers didn’t raise the issue of violence against women in Parliament is false. 

Claim: Women lawmakers didn’t speak out against violence against women in Parliament. 

Claimed by: Radha Pokharel

Nepal Check Verdict: False