• The Women Behind the Historic Change in Nagaland

    Meet the Naga Mothers’ Association (NMA), who have spearheaded a fight for political representation for women in the state. They’ve won one major battle, that has been brewing for years.

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    In 2006, the government permitted 33% reservation for women in urban local bodies. But the NMA wanted elections with the quotas and they took the matter to the court. The Nagaland Assembly in 2012, meanwhile, passed a resolution exempting the state, dealing with reservation of seats in municipalities. The High Court supported the state government’s decision which stated that the reservation for women would be in conflict with customary law hence the NMA appealed to the Supreme Court. A final order is yet to be announced.

    But Nagaland recently revoked a 2012 resolution passed by the state assembly on Thursday and will now celebrate the implementation of reservation for women in local bodies with the rest of the country.

    All thanks to the activism by the Naga Mothers Association, who since it was formed in 1984, has been working for social impact – emerging as a body that fights for women’s rights – and bringing in a sustainable solution and justice in a democratic society…The NGA works are unparalleled in every sphere.

    “It has been a long struggle for Naga women to get our Constitutional right in getting reservation for women,” Rosemary Dzuvichu, advisor to the NMA, said to Huffingtonpost. “But it’s worth all the suffering we went through to get legal justice and now recognition from the present government that women have a right to partner men in municipalities. We are positive Nagaland will see changes in the future,” she added.

    Nagaland is the only state in the country that never had a woman MLA, or even women councillors in the village. The apex decision-making body of Naga tribes, the Hohos, also have no women’s representatives.

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    NMA has conducted the legal fight for the Rights of women, and is a believer of women empowerment. Though initially these women came together to end Nagaland’s suffering from drug abuse and illicit use of drugs, they have also sought to deal with other societal evils and degrading laws for women, and has also been working to help usher in peace for the people of the state.

    Feature Image Credit: TOI

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