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Last Updated: Wednesday, 31 May 2006, 09:41 GMT 10:41 UK
Nepal women's rights law hailed
Nepalese women at a pro-democracy rally
Nepalese women have been discriminated against, MPs say
Women's rights groups in Nepal have welcomed a move to end laws which discriminate against women.

The Nepalese parliament unanimously voted in favour of the resolution, introduced by communist lawmaker Bidhya Bhandari, on Tuesday.

She said the proposed law, which would give full citizenship to children born to Nepalese mothers, was an attempt to stop violence and discrimination.

The cabinet would now have to replace laws it feels is discriminatory.

'Progressive step'

"We need to turn around the patriarchy system and make several reforms to give justice and equality to women," Ms Bhandari was quoted by news agency AP.

A local women's group report in 2000 found 118 laws which discriminated against women, the news agency said.

Lawyer Pushpa Bhusal told the BBC the new provision will also protect the rights of children as they will be able to get citizenship even if their father is away or their parents are divorced.

Senior advocate Radheshyam Adhikari called the resolution a "progressive step" and said parliament should quickly make it law.

The resolution said there should be at least one-third representation of women in Nepal's governmental infrastructure.

How the resolution will be translated into action is, however, not clear yet, said the BBC's Bhagirath Yogi from Kathmandu.

Nepal's Supreme Court had earlier made a number of landmark decisions to ensure equal property rights to women and providing citizenship to children, even if the name of their father was not known.


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