Kohima | December 14: Member of the Planning Commission of India Dr. Syeda Hameed today said that the court of law has issued orders to the government of Nagaland to implement the 33% reservation of seats for women in the civic institutions and the State can only comply.
Contrasting the condition of other women communities in the country, the Planning Commission member opined that Naga women are the ‘strongest and the most empowered group’ in the country but they have to make well-informed judgments when foraying into political careers.
Addressing women at a seminar in Kohima, themed “Women’s Representation in Decision Making Process in Nagaland” today, Dr. Hameed said there is absolutely no reason that there should not be any women in state legislative assembly. Women should be involved in any decision-making process as they constitute almost half of the total population in the country, the Planning Commission member observed.
“The court has issued the order and the government is compelled to follow,” she said at the event, held at Hotel Orchid in Kohima. The event was organized by the North East Network and sponsored by the National Planning Commission. She also acknowledged the efforts of North East Network’s members, whom she called ‘dedicated workers.’ The high central official also called upon the gathering to be prepared for 2012-2017 Five Year Plan which is expected to be ready by April 1.
Advisor to the Naga Mothers’ Association, Rosemary Dzuvichü also spoke on the laws and policies in furthering women’s empowerment in Nagaland and issues concerning the 33 % women reservation. Explaining the struggle and challenges Naga women face, she said not even the right of inheritance of land or property has been granted to Naga women. Dzuvichü said that during the state’s 40 years of statehood, there still has to be a sitting women representative in the Nagaland Legislative Assembly. For many years now, she said, the Nagas have yet to have a woman GB (village elder) as well. There is also a need for women members in decision-making institutions, she said.
Opining that the village institutions are generally corrupt, Dzuvichü said it is the failure of the Nagaland government because district administrators such as the deputy commissioners appoint ‘GBs’ or ‘DBs’. She said appointment should be made by the government. Women must also be involved in the “customary courts” she said.
Also, Monalisa Changkija, Editor of English newspaper Nagaland Page, said Naga women are citizens of the country and so naturally deserve all rights enshrined in the law and constitution. Asserting that local-self governance is active and village institutions such as village councils have now become civic bodies, and not traditional like it used to be, she said Naga women can contribute much to the decision-making process. The journalist urged the state government to implement the order passed by the high court.
The seminar was attended by tribal women leaders from across the state. Day-two of the seminar will discuss issues concerning women’s leadership and Human Rights. Dr. Anita Agnihotri of the National Commission for Women will speak on women’s rights and development while Dr. Roshmi Goswami, UN Women will speak on women’s leadership.
Original Story: WOMEN QUOTA: ‘Govt must comply with High Court order’