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Naga women reaffirm 33% reservation
Correspondent Kohima, Feb 13 (NPN):
Published on 14 Feb. 2009 12:35 AM IST
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Cutting across tribal and political party affiliations and organizations, Naga women at a consultation unanimously resolved in favour of implementation of the 108th Constitutional (Amendment Bill) 2008 for 33% reservation for women in the state. The first-ever consultation of all Naga women representatives from different tribes, hohos, unions, organizations and women wings of political parties, organized by the Nagaland State Women Commission at ATI Kohima on Friday, unanimously adopted a two-point resolution in favour of implementation of the 108th Constitutional (Amendment Bill) 2008 on 33% Women Reservation Bill and immediate implementation of the 33% reservation for women in the municipal and town councils in the state as enshrined in the Nagaland Municipal and Town Council Act. A delegation comprising women representatives from all Naga tribes, women wings of various political parties, hohos and other women organizations are likely to submit the resolution to the Governor and Chief Minister tomorrow. Speakers at the consultation were unanimous in their views that Naga women should come together and be united on the issue. They observed that ignorance about their own rights remained the biggest problem for the women in the state. The main speaker, Rosemary Dzuvichu, Expert Member of North East, National Women Commission, pointed out that reservation was not a new thing to the Naga society as the Nagas had been enjoying various kinds of reservations till today. She also stated that the women in other parts of the country were enjoying reservation in Panchayati Raj after the 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendment in 1993. While stressing that the responsibility of the women today was to sensitize their peers on their rights at the grassroots level, she felt the urgent need for organizing extensive training for Naga women leaders on political empowerment of women by the state women commission. Pointing out that democracy meant equality, Rosemary explained that reservation for women was the first step to democracy and stressed that it must be implemented in the Naga society. Maintaining that the biggest problem of the Naga women was that they do not know how to support each other, she said unless the women network with each other and come together, they will never grow and their voices will not be heard outside. Khesheli Chishi, Registrar, Gauhati High Court, Kohima Bench, who was also one of the main speakers, asserted that that women have all legal rights on the 33% women reservation and added that they can win their case even in the court of law. She also stressed that unity among women was of utmost importance. Commenting on the January 29 consultation on the 33% reservation for women, organized by All Political Party Consultative Committee which failed to invite the NSWC and other apex women organizations such as the NMA, ENWO and also women wings of the political parties, she said the consultation was like celebrating Christmas without Christ. Earlier, NSWC chairperson, Sano Vamuzo, in her introductory speech pointed out that ignorance of their own right remained the main problem for women. She also asserted that the decision on 33% reservation was for the women and that the women should not let their husbands and manfolk impose upon them on the issue. Representatives of all the tribes women hohos, NMA, ENWO, ENPO and women wing leaders from Congress, BJP and RJD took part in the consultation. However, representatives of the women wing of the ruling NPF party did not attend the consultation.

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