From the day when women had to fight for their rights to vote till now, things have changed to a great extent. Women are becoming more and more fearless. Not only in business, offices, making home and life, science and technology, art and culture, but also women are making their countries, their world a better place by being fierce leaders. This series is about getting to know about them, knowing facts about them.

Bidhya Devi Bhandari, the current President of Nepal, is the first woman to hold this office in the country. She has served as the country’s Minister of Defence – the first woman to do so.  She is also the commander-in-chief of the Nepalese Army. The 58-year-old assumed office in 2015. She ranked 52 in the Forbes list of the World’s 100 most powerful women in 2016, and is a champion for women’s rights.

According to Forbes, in April 2015 the earthquake in Nepal not only claimed lives but also destroyed infrastructure, and there is much work ahead to rebuild. But efforts to do so have practically come to a standstill amidst resistance from Madhesi and other ethnic groups, who are angered by a new constitution they say limits their rights. Amidst these tensions, in May Bhandari cancelled what was to be her first trip to India. A women’s rights advocate, she has made progress on the front: helping to push forward a mandate, now approved, that women comprise at least a third of Nepal’s parliament.

President Bhandari finished her Bachelor of Arts from Tribhuvan University, Nepal. In her political career she was Minister for Environment and Population in 1997, M inister for Defence from 2010 to 2012 previously.

President Bidhya Devi Bhandari has contributed a lot in ensuring the women rights and rights of the back-warded and marginalised people. She has played a key role to end the gender discrimination existing in the Nepalese society. As the result of her continuous advocacy for the equal rights to women, the present constitution has incorporated the provision of 33 percent participation of the women in all state structures of Nepal.

Read other stories of this series here.


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