Kohima, Sept. 22: The Nagaland Assembly today passed a resolution, allegedly in keeping with the “customary practices of Nagas”, that would keep women out of civic bodies like town and municipal councils.
The resolution, that is effectively an amendment to the Nagaland Municipal Act 2001 (amended 2006), exempts the state from implementing Part IX-A of the Constitution, which says 33 per cent seats in these civic bodies should reserved for women.
Women here have, however, flayed the decision.
“Our men do not understand the rights of women. They are afraid of Naga women,” Nagaland Women Commission chairperson Sano Vamuzo said.
She asked whether Naga men had read the Bible where the rights of women are clearly stated. She also termed government’s decision “very unfortunate”.
Sano said Nagaland, being a predominantly Christian state, should follow and practise the principles of the Bible.
Naga Mothers’ Association president Abeiu Meru also lambasted the state government’s decision. She said government had no regard for the women.
“We are very disappointed. We will soon convene a meeting to discuss the issue.”
So far, there are no women legislators in the state Assembly. Rano Shaiza was a Lok Sabha member in the 1980s.
Urban development and higher education minister Shurhozelie Liezietsu, who moved the resolution, said many organisations, including the powerful Naga Hoho and the Eastern Nagaland People’s Organisation, among others, had objected to the 2006 amendment of the Nagaland Municipal Act 2001 that had made room for women in civic bodies.
“On September 4, the committee to scrutinise parliamentary laws for application to Nagaland recommended scrutiny of the laws as there was consensus that 33 per cent reservation impinged and infringed on the social and customary practices of the Nagas, the safeguards of which were enshrined in Article 371A of the Constitution,” the minister told the Assembly today.