Historical data demonstrates the degree of women’s exclusion in these three states. Only 5% of the candidates in Meghalaya and Tripura have been female since the early 1960s. Only 24 women out of the 2508 people who have ever run for office in Nagaland since 1964 were female.
Hekani Jakhalu Kense and Salhoutuonuo Kruse of the BJP’s alliance partner, National Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP), have become the state’s first two female MLAs, making some type of history in Nagaland.
Rano Mese Shaiza, a United Democratic Party candidate, was chosen by Nagaland voters as its first female Lok Sabha member in 1977. The BJP nominated Phangnon Konyak to represent Nagaland in the Rajya Sabha in 2022. Salhoutuonuo Kruse and Hekani Jakhalu Kense, however, are the first women in the state to be elected to the legislature before this election.
That gives other women in society hope.
Despite having societal power, women in Nagaland remain underrepresented in politics. But why are women underrepresented in the media?
Pradip Phanjoubam, a well-known journalist, said: “Women’s movements are quite strong in northeastern regions like Nagaland and Manipur, but they have not been able to influence formal politics in the same way that they influence informal politics. A significant number of women take to the streets to protest societal issues. Many believe that this is male dominance because it does not occur in formal politics. Yet as of late, I believe something has changed. Women are indicating their presence in politics the same manner they do in unofficial areas “.
The journalist Phanjoubam observed, “I think the traditional hangup was still very much there, but I think there will be more women in Nagaland politics in the near future” after Hekani Jakhalu Kense and Salhoutuonuo Kruse’s victories.
NAGALAND’S ELECTORAL PARTICIPATION OF WOMEN
In Nagaland, women have been actively participating in both the public and private realms. There are several instances that show how women actively participated in social and cultural activities as well as the civil society movement.
The participation of women is higher than that of men in the election process.
If we examine the state’s voter turnout, it appears that women in Nagaland have participated in significant numbers in nearly every election.
The table below displays the breakdown of male and female voters in the Nagaland assembly elections by year.
Furthermore noteworthy is the fact that this election marked the first time in Nagaland that the turnout rate exceeded 90%.
Women voted less frequently in the subsequent election in 1998 than did men. Nonetheless, a large number of political parties and social organizations in Nagaland abstained during this election. With the exception of Congress, no party ran candidates.
Similar patterns were evident in the 2003 assembly elections, which saw a lower participation rate for women than for men.
However, the pattern altered, and women’s voting participation increased significantly in the 2008 elections.
A higher percentage of female voters indicates their participation, which demonstrates that women value their involvement in the election process.
When it comes to the number of elected women, the state is still far behind other states.
Women have only ever been elected to the assembly in this election, as was already mentioned. The poor showing of female candidates in previous elections does not bode well for the future, though.
No women ran for office in Nagaland’s first assembly election.
It is also crucial to remember that in 1964, neither a registered party nor a national or state-level party participated in the election. The race featured 73 independent candidates only.
The number of female candidates who ran for office is shown in table number 2 below, but it never reached double digits.