The country of Nepal made history last month when the country’s parliament elected its first female president. President Bidhya Devi Bhandari beat out her component by more than 100 votes.
Bhandari is the country’s second president since its transition from a monarchy to a republic, which began in 2008. Although the head of the Nepalese government is the Prime Minister, and the President acts as a ceremonial leader, Bhandari will still serve as commander of Nepal’s armed forces. She has also already had a strong political influence in regards to women’s rights and was a lead in many demonstrations against the former Nepalese monarch.
Nepal’s newly adopted constitution states that one third of the country’s lawmakers must be women. Previous to her election as president, Bhandari was one of the leading politicians in this campaign to secure women’s rights as a part of the republic. The new constitution also states that women must be a part of all government committees.
Bhandari’s other credentials include defense minister for the Communist Party of Nepal Unified Marxist-Leninist, as well as the vice chairperson and deputy leader.
Cover image courtesy of NPR.