NET Bureau, Kingson Chingakham
The Mizo National Front (MNF) has definitely won in the Mizoram State Elections 2018. But no women have been elected in the 40 seats State Assembly. Thereby, putting a big worry on the question of women representation in the Mizoram State Assembly. Mizoram is known for its good sex-ratio in the country. But surprisingly top political parties have refused to give tickets to women to contest elections in the recently concluded elections.
There are 8 districts in Mizoram. The Election Commission listed the names of 217 candidates contesting for the 40 seats in the Elections. Out of these 217 contesting candidates only the names of 17 women could be seen (which means only 7% women contested in the State Elections).
The victory of MNF should be introspected because the party did not issue a single ticket to women. All the contesting candidates from MNF is 100% male-dominated. The Indian National Congress (INC) also did not issue any ticket to women. On the other hand, 6 women contested from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). While one woman contested from the Nationalist Congress Party, ten women contested the elections as Independent.
All the women who have contested in this elections have been heavily defeated. They have either come in the 4th place or below. Except for Lalrinpuii from the Lunglei East who came in the 2nd place. This can be large because women contested the elections as Independents without any party affiliations.
Out of the 40 constituencies in the Mizoram Elections, 24 constituencies did not have any women candidates this election. Out of the eight districts, three districts- Kolasib, Lawngtlai and Siaha did not have a single women candidate contesting in the elections. Out of these 17 women, 2 women Lalhrilzeli Hlawdo and Lalruatfeli Hlawbdo contested in two constituencies each. Therefore, objectively, there were only 15 women candidates who contested in this election.
The Mizoram Assembly is not bicameral and therefore there is no question of electing women in the upper house. Mizoram will be without any women in the Assembly for the next 5 years. Here comes the importance of Women Reservation Bill. The political parties have also failed in all the capacities to empower women from the ground level, exposing their hypocrisy.
On the one hand, these politicians talk about ‘women empowerment’, on the other hand, they refuse to provide tickets to women at the time of elections closing the door for political participation. How are women supposed to have better political participation in the decision-making process when women have been given step-motherly treatment within the party?