In the recent convention of the Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML) party, Asta Laxmi Shakya – member of the JOMPOPS Steering Committee – was elected Vice President. She has been the SC member of JOMPOPS since its formation in early 2010 and was the first elected Chairperson of the JOMPOPS platform.
Report from Shrishti Rana, DIPD Representative in Nepal
Ms Shakya has been active in the communist movement of Nepal since 1970s. It may be relevant to note here that most of the communist parties in Nepal are different from the perception of communist parties in the western context. Nepal’s communist parties like Communist Marxist Leninist or CPN-UML are committed to multiparty democracy and to an open economy like moderate left parties in the West. Therefore, it can be said that Ms. Shakya has been involved in the democratic movement of Nepal since she started her political career.
As the first Chairperson of JOMPOPS, Asta took active interest as well as necessary actions to ensure that the pilot project supported by DIPD in Nepal became a success. She was instrumental in fostering a strong sense of both ownership and leadership of local partners in the JOMPOPS project. During her term, she introduced the practice of conducting the Steering Committee meeting in the respective party office on a rotation basis, which created a lot of positive response from local partners.
Most importantly, her role to promote women in politics through the JOMPOPS platform has been significant. She was the Coordinator for the national seminar on gender and democracy in April 2013in which top leaders of all six parties committed to gender equality inside their respective party. This event was also attended by the Danish Minister Ulla Tørnæs. Asta also had a key role in mobilizing JOMPOPS members to coordinate on a multiparty campaign on violence against women in 2014 supported by DIPD. Moreover, she conducted a number of programmes to promote women’s leadership at local level in her own party in partnership with DIPD.
By securing the position of the Vice President inside the Marxist Leninist Party, Asta Laxmi Shakya has become the highest ranking party leader inside the JOMPOPS platform. And DIPD has reasons to celebrate as her success is a small example of what DIPD aims to contribute in Nepal.
Shakya was elected as the Constituent Assembly Member in November 2014. Despite her busy schedule as the Vice President of the party and the Constituent Assembly member, Shakya continues to be actively engaged in activities supported by DIPD in Nepal.