WOMEN’S groups have been leading a struggle for 33 percent reservation in the local bodies in Nagaland for the past many years. Elections for 32 urban local bodies (ULBs) notified on December 21, 2016 were to be held after a gap of 16 years. Unfortunately some tribal groups opposed reservation for women under the garb of protecting customary laws. Women who filed their nominations were forced to withdraw and a call was given to boycott the elections. Two people were killed in police firing in the ensuing violence.
AIDWA, in a statement issued on February 6, has expressed shock and dismay on the Nagaland imbroglio over women's reservation. It is distressing that customary laws are being pitted against gender equality. Attempt to resist the constitutional provision of reservation for women to deny them their right to contest elections is reprehensible. Equally condemnable is the high-handed action of the police in dealing with the situation leading to loss of lives.
AIDWA supports the women and the organisations in Nagaland who are fighting for their rights and demands that the Naga government should open a dialogue with those resisting the reservation so that peace can be maintained.