Aizawl: Mizo Hmeichhe Insuihkhawm Pawl (MHIP), the lone women’s organization fighting for the right and welfare of women in Mizoram on Monday urged its members to vote for a woman candidate in their respective constituencies irrespective of party affiliation.
A statement issued by the association urged that all women voters should cast their votes in favour of women candidates in their respective constituency to ensure that women have more participation in government formation.
It also asked women voters to keep aside their party affiliation and unconditionally support women candidates.
So far, three women candidates have been named for the upcoming assembly polls on 28 November.
The ruling Congress has re-fielded the incumbent woman minister Vanlalawmpuii Chawngthu, while the Zoram People Movement (ZPM) decided to field two women candidates- F. Lalrintluangi and Lalrinpuii from Dampa and Lungei East constituencies respectively.
BJP is also likely to field women candidates, but the Mizo National Front (MNF) has none in its list.
Though women in Mizoram enjoy almost equal status with men in the society and often outshine men in education and entrepreneurship, their participation in politics, as well as government formation, is very minimal.
The real problem lies in the social fabric that doesn’t encourage women to participate in politics.
In a patriarchal Mizo society, women are always underestimated by men when it comes to politics. Moreover, almost all the women, though highly educated, are not interested in politics and choose other careers.
The frequent lose in polls by women candidates also discouraged political parties to field women candidates. In six assembly polls between 1989 and 2013, none of the women, who have contested as party candidate or independent won the polls.
So far, Mizoram has only four women legislators in the state legislature since 1978 and the first woman minister was Lalhlimpuii Hmar, who was elected on MNF ticket in 1987. Twenty-seven years later — in the 2014 by-poll — Vanlalawmpuii broke the jinx of women losing election after election in the state. Three years later, she was inducted into Chief Minister Lalthanhawla’s ministry, becoming the second woman minister in the state.
The government is taking an effort to ensure that women have more political participation.