After two decades of conflict in Nepal, the country hopes to embrace a new era of peace and women including from conflict affected areas are defiantly ensuring that they have voice and are at the table when their future is decided. Policy makers in Nepal are paving the way to make this happen. The Local Level Election Act of 2017, made it mandatory for political parties to field female candidates for half of the posts. 20,000 women are standing for the ongoing elections, this is a first for the country.
Nirmala Rijal is 28 years old and lives and works in Kailali, Nepal, a conflict-affected part of the country. She is a single mother to a 12-year-old daughter. At 14, she was forced to marry and struggle with family life, facing domestic violence. She came out of it, emerging as a well-recognized woman leader in Kailali, being the Vice Chair of the Sadbhawana Party, which has now merged with other political parties called Nepal Janata Party. She currently holding the postion of chair the Inter Party Women Alliance at Dhandadi, Kailali.