Aizawl: Women voters have been outnumbering male voters in Mizoram for the past few years, but paradoxically there are no women representatives in the state legislature for years together.
According to the voters` lists published on August 16, of the 6,86,305 total voters, there are 3,49,506 female voters and 3,36,799 male voters.
In the 2008 final electoral roll also, of the total 6.08,561 voters, female voters comprised 3,08,659 against 2,99,902 male voters.
Mizoram began to have a separate legislature of its own since 1972 when it was elevated from a district council under the state of Assam to the status of union territory, but only six women, including three nominated legislators, have made it to the state assembly in the past 41 years.
The only three women politicians who received the people`s mandate are Lalthanmawii of the People`s Conference, elected from the then Aizawl East seat in 1979 and K Thansiami of the PC (earlier nominated to the assembly in 1978) who was elected from the Aizawl West seat in 1984.
The first and only woman to become a minister and the last woman to make it to the Mizoram assembly till date is Lalhlimpuii Hmar, elected in 1987 as the Mizo National Front (MNF) nominee from Aizawl North-I constituency.
A leader of the Mizo Hmeichhe Insuihkhawm Pawl (MHIP) or Mizo Women`s Federation laments that Mizo society being a strict patriarchal one, men are yet to accept women as rulers representing them in the law-making process.
"We are accepted when we take up men`s work besides household chores, but the patriarchal-minded people find it difficult to accept us as rulers or law-makers," she says.
Lalnipuii, a veteran women rights activist and chairperson of the Mizoram State Commission for Women, says that awareness is needed to educate society, especially women in politics.
"The main political parties should not only field women candidates for the sake of it, but should nominate women having chances to win in the right constituencies," Lalnipuii says.
On the argument that women having chances of winning elections are not interested in active politics, Lalnipuii claims that women being deprived of responsible and important posts in political parties are hesitant to take the plunge to work full time in politics.
President of the All Mizoram Women Federation (AMWF) Lalneihzovi says that participation of women in the legislation and executive is important for socio-economic all round development and the AMWF is making all-out efforts to ensure that women are represented in the state legislature.
"We are working together with women bodies like the MHIP and the Panchayat Mahila Shakti Abhiyan (PMSA) and also with the women wings of the recognised political parties," Lalneihzovi of the Public Administration department in the Mizoram University adds.