Women in Nagaland are up in arms against male dominance in the states political arena after a government-constituted committee rejected any kind of reservation for women in the hill state.
Women groups felt humiliated when election to the Mokukchung Municipal Council was cancelled after tension built up following the alleged refusal by mens groups to even allow women candidates to file their nomination papers.
The Nagaland Municipal Council Act of 2006 clearly provides for 33 per cent reservation for women. But when the elections were announced,women were not allowed to file nominations, said Rosemary Dzevichu,expert member,National Commission for Women.
But the worst came when the All-Political Party Consultative Committee constituted by the state Assembly rejected the 108th Amendment Bill (Women Reservation) 2008 on January 29. Leading womens groups of the state have described it as a biased decision intended to keep women away from the decision-making process.
Nagaland State Womens Commission (NSWC) chairperson Sano Vamuzo said there was no consensus on the decision of the January 29 meeting because womens organisations were not invited to the meet. Even the NSWC was not invited to the meeting although constitutional statute has a stipulation to consult the commission, she added.
The January 29 meeting was a male majority meeting organized by the All-Political Party Consultative Committee which bulldozed the resolution. And such is the attitude that the Committee did not even consider it worthwhile to invite the state womens commission, Dzevichu told The Indian Express from Kohima.
A larger debate must be held within Nagaland,represented by all women organisations, she stated.
Equally sore is Anungla Aier,who heads the Womens Studies Research Centre (WSRC) at Nagaland University. It is a very undemocratic development. This has to be undone at any cost. Aier has been a leading voice against parties giving little space to women in Nagaland.