[QODLink]
Witness
Bullets to Ballots
Nepal is the rooftop of the world yet its recent politics have been anything but lofty.
Last Modified: 15 Jun 2009 14:41 GMT

Watch part two

Filmmakers: Alex Gabby and Subina Shestra

After years of hereditary rule, Nepal introduced a constitutional monarchy in 1990. Widespread disaffection led to Nepal's Communist Party launching their so-called 'People’s War' six years later. A Maoist insurgency was in full swing.

The Communists wanted to abolish all forms of discrimination. Women in particular saw this as a unique opportunity to win equality and many joined the movement in droves.

Just weeks before peace talks between the Maoists and the government began; film makers Alex Gabby and Subina Shestra were given extraordinary access to some of Nepal’s revolutionary women.

Comrade Nischal is a member of the People's Liberation Army (PLA). She says she joined when Maoists came to her village to explain their work and their ideologies. Having suffered physical abuse from her husband, just as her mother had with her father, Nischal decided she had to take part in the revolution.

Now almost half of the PLA is made up of women like Nischal, who joined the movement for varying personal reasons, and all to fight for the same cause. But it hasn’t been a smooth ride for them.

Half of the Maoist party members are women, proof that they are making great strides in the battle for equality. But only two women sit at the highest levels of the party, and no woman, from either side is involved in the peace talks.

Pampha Bhusal, a central committee member of the Maoist party hopes to change this. She says that the oppression against women comes from the state.

The revolutionaries face other obstacles as well. They have been accused of exploitation, violence, and forced indoctrination. But women like Comrade Neschal says that she owes her very freedom to the movement. 

In the weeks approaching the peace talks, the party and its armed wing remain alert and ready to mobilise, as the stakes are as high as ever. But they also remain hopeful of a peaceful resolution, and the chance to trade in their bullets for ballots.

Source:
Al Jazeera
Topics in this article
People
Country
Featured on Al Jazeera
The author argues that in the new economy, it's people, not skills or majors, that have lost value.
Colleagues of detained Al Jazeera journalists press demands for their release, 100 days after their arrest in Egypt.
Mehdi Hasan discusses online freedoms and the potential of the web with Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.
A tight race seems likely as 814 million voters elect leaders in world's largest democracy next week.
Featured
As nuclear age approaches eighth decade, visitors flock to historic bomb craters at New Mexico test sites.
Venezuela's president lacks the charisma and cult of personality maintained by the late Hugo Chavez.
Despite the Geneva deal, anti-government protesters in Ukraine's eastern regions don't intend to leave any time soon.
Since independence, Zimbabwe has faced food shortages, hyperinflation - and several political crises.
After a sit-in protest at Poland's parliament, lawmakers are set to raise government aid to carers of disabled youth.
join our mailing list