Prof. Dr Shanta Thapaliya
Born on January 1, 1945 in Taplejung, Prof. Dr Shanta Thapaliya was the first Nepali women to hold a PhD in Law. She was also the first women Law Professor who did her LLM from the University of California and acquired her PhD from the University of Delhi. She is one of the strongest advocator of women rights who believed not only in raising awareness about the rights of the women but also their responsibilities.
The strong advocate of women’s rights, Dr Thapaliya is also the founder of Legal Aid and Consultancy Center (LACC) established in the year 1987. She provided legal advices to thousands of helpless and needy women and children throughout the country with this organization. She was also awarded the Ashoka Fellowship for her lifetime contribution towards women’s rights. She also served as a member of the National Judicial Academy, Police Reform and Recommendation Commission and Academic Council of the Tribhuwan University (TU) and many more. She had dedicated her life to serve the women who are not aware of their rights and who are being discriminated.
She had sacrificed her dream of being the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court in order to assure the rights of the women. It all happened when she went to the Far Western Region for her PhD research, after completing her postgraduate degree in law. The condition of the women their changed her mind and she decided to dedicate her life and utilize her education and capability in providing the rights of the women so that generations and generations of women would have the opportunity to make a positive difference. She has spent years fighting and advocating for women’s rights and she believed that not only women but all the members of the family should be equally aware of the existing laws. She was the only women sitting and waiting when the Bill on equal property rights for the women was passed on 26 September 2006.
This dedicated and hardworking woman had cast her Midas-touch to the life of thousands of women changing their lives for better before she left the world on 7 February, 2011 due to cancer.