MIN RATNA BAJRACHARYA
I'm very busy. I am the coordinator of the sub-committees on gender and sexuality and women's rights study and recommendations, under the committee on fundamental rights and directive principles.
But isn't the CA suspended?
Although assembly meetings have been suspended, committee meetings have continued.
Will the constitution be written on time?
People are worried that it won't be written on time because of disagreements among the political parties. The politicians don't have a right to wreck the country.
Which parties would you blame?
The Maoists, NC and CPN-UML.
Why hasn't your committee completed its draft paper?
I'm in the constitutional committee. Half of the constitution will be based on our report, so it's very important to ensure that the draft protects everyone's rights.
What is the biggest disagreement with regards to the citizenship issue?
There has been some disagreement between the Tarai-based parties and the committee on the issue of citizenship. The Home Ministry reports that about 300,000 women and 200,000 men were given citizenship last year. Foreign women who married Nepali men came to Nepal, but not vice versa. Therefore, this question is related to nationality. It's also important to ensure gender equality. The committee's draft treats all citizens equally, whether male or female.
So, more foreign brides than grooms have come to Nepal?
Yes. But, neither will for long. If you originally had foreign citizenship, and you marry a Nepali, you will only be granted naturalised Nepali citizenship if you stay here for 15 years following marriage. Most of those in the committee agree that only those who claim Nepali citizenship through both their parents will be eligible to hold high office.