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8 Month Old Baby Left at Home while Mother Fought On the Battle Field
Maoists Female CA Members share Their experiences about a decade long conflict in Nepal

Kathmandu, September 9, 2008-Nepalese working women journalists met with Maoists female CA (Constitutional Assembly) members in Kathmandu. Here is our correspondent Sangmo Yonjan-Tamang's report:


Maoists CA Member Kamala Roka Magar. Photos: Sangmo

"I was very much frustrated seeing social inequality, injustice, violence against women rampant in our society. So in order to fight against these things, I decided to join into armed conflict with a determination to work for the welfare of the people." explained CPN- Maoist Constituent Assembly (CA) member Kamala Roka Magar, 33, of Rukum.

She shared her experiences of the struggles and suffering that she faced while working as Peoples' Liberation Army personel (PLA) during a decade long armed conflict in Nepal with women journalists in a program organized by Working Women Journalists (WWJ) in the capital on Monday.
 
Roka Magar presented her personal reason for carrying a weapon and fighting on the battlefield. She explained that due to her unfavorable family environment she was forced to get involved in conflict.

"My parents arranged my marriage without my consent, taking eleven thousands rupees from the boy's family when I was just 11 years old. I rebelled against it and refused the marriage but as a result I was badly beaten." she shared with obvious emotion." Since then I started fighting against such injustice and joined the armed conflict in the year 2052 B.S. (1995 A.D). "

She had a difficult time during her pregnancy as she had to stay in the jungle, and walk for a long hours to attend party meetings. However, she says she never felt regret for putting up with such miserable conditions. "I was fully aware that we (Maoist ) are walking for the welfare and the betterment of the people in the conflict and no plight can stop me from reaching my destination."

Because of her strong determination and courage, she left her 19 month old baby at home and walked on the battlefield thinking that her involvement in the conflict is more important than anything else.

Now, she wishes to bring the peace process to a logical conclusion. She added that the provision regarding 50% women participation in every state's mechanism will be written into the new constitution.

"We have furthermore raised the issue regarding the right to get citizenship in the name of the mother in the CA."


Maoists CA Member Bimala KC. Photos: Sangmo

Another CA member of CPN, Maoist Bimala K.C., 30 of Rukum shared her sorrowful experiences as well as her heroic deeds while being involved in the decade long armed conflict. She started in the struggle aspiring to end the feudal state structure and social discrimination.
"I left my 8 month old daughter in my mother's home and walked into the battlefield, as I felt that itwas more important to bring about social change," she explained.

She expressed satisfaction with every kind of activity that she participated in during the conflict, no matter what difficulties she had to face. She believes that many women of different sectors have been encouraged by seeing their enthusiasm, courage and struggle in a long armed conflict.


Maoists CA Member Sabitra Gurung Dura. Photos: Sangmo

Maoist CA member Sabitra Gurung Dura, 30 of Tanahu District claimed that during an armed conflict, many PLA's women faced great sorrow and suffering. "Many of our women friends were badly mistreated by the Nepal Army. They were thrashed, raped and finally killed, after intensely painful suffering.

There were numerous problems and challenges during the revolution but I was very confident that women would sacrifice their precious lives for the sake of society and the nation." Gurung Dura added.

She reveals the reasons for joining the conflict included "gender inequality, social oppression, and suppression were the major causes."

She complains that although her husband was disappeared by the Nepal Army during the insurgency, that fact has not been made public information.


Members of Working Women Journalists (WWJ). Photos: Sangmo

WWJ is an organization that works for increasing the number of women journalists and bringing them into the decision making level in media houses.

-Sangmo Yonjan-Tamang in Kathmandu
   
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