We, the undersigned women’s organisations and concerned individuals take serious note of the fierce opposition to women’s reservation of 33% seats in Nagaland Municipal Councils by male dominated tribal bodies in Nagaland in the name of protecting their tradition and customary practices that bar women from participating in decision- making bodies. We strongly condemn this anti-woman position of Nagaland Tribes Action Committee (NTAC) that has been formed supposedly to “protect” Naga tribal practices. While NTAC quotes Article 371(A) of the Constitution to assert that they are empowered to make their own laws, they choose to ignore Constitutional principle of equality before law, thus denying the Naga women their electoral rights.
Time and again women’s movements in India have confronted issues of community identity vs the rights of women. In almost every instance, communities and their leaders have chosen to sacrifice the rights of women to safeguard patriarchal practices in the name of tradition and custom. In the present imbroglio, NTAC has used threats and violence to prevent women from filing their nominations, or even to withdraw their papers.
Through all this, the State government has remained silent spectator and tried to wash its hands off on the issue of women’s representation in local bodies by cancelling the elections to local bodies under pressure from these tribal bodies by merely citing law and order concerns. In the process, the State has become complicit in protecting patriarchal traditions to the detriment of principles of gender equality. What is not being asserted is that Urban Local Bodies are not traditional Naga institutions recognised by Article 371(A) of the Constitution but rather, Constitutional bodies under Part IX of the Constitution over which the traditional Naga bodies have no mandate. We strongly condemn the unconstitutional demand of the NTAC and the succumbing of the state government to the pressures of this body. We stand strongly with the struggle of Naga Mothers Association and others who have consistently been fighting for peace, justice and the rights of Naga women for political representation in local bodies since 2006 when the Nagaland Municipal (First Amendment) Act was enacted granting 33% reservations to Naga women in local bodies. We demand:
• Immediate resumption of the electoral process for Nagaland Municipal Councils.
• The state government must stop colluding with powers that promote anti-women practices of communities.
• The state government must implement the 33% political representation of women in local bodies with immediate effect.
• The state government must uphold the rights of women, in this and other areas of law and governance.
ORGANISATIONS1. Saheli Women’s Resource Centre2. LABIA – A Queer Feminist LBT Collective3. Forum Against Oppression of Women4. Zubaan 5. Stree Mukti Sangathan6. Anhad – Act Now for Harmony & Democracy7. NAPM – National Alliance of Peoples’ Movements8. Sappho for Equality9. Pennurimai Iyakkam10. Pann NuFoundation11. Olakh12. Akshara13. North East Network14. Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti15. Nirantar16. Kosi Navnirman Manch17. Joint Women’s Program18. Bebaak Collective19. Matu Kan Sangathan20. SangatinSamooh21. CASAM22. SANGRAM23. Feminism in India24. Partners in Law Development25. WomenPowerConnect26. Gender,Livelihoods and Resources Forum27. FoodSovereigntyAlliance28. IRDSO ManipurINDIVIDUALS1. Aarthi Pai2. Abha Bhaiya3. Ammu Abraham4. Anomita Sen5. Anita Ghai6. Anjali Sinha7. Anupama Potluri8. Anuradha Banerji9. Anuradha Kapoor10. Anuvinda Varkey11. Alana Golmei12. Arun Bhurte13. Ashima Roy Chowdhury14. Ashley Tellis15. Bishakha Datta16. Chayanika Shah17. Deepa Venkatachalam18. Deepti Sharma19. Devaki Jain20. Dhruva Narayan21. Dunu Roy22. Gabriel Dietrich23. Gargee Baruah24. Gayatri Sharma25. Geeta Seshu26. Geetha Nambisan27. Govind Kelkar28. Hasina Khan29. Imrana Qadeer30. Janaki Abraham31. Japleen Pasricha32. Jashodhara Dasupta33. Jhuma Sen34. Kalpana Mehta35. Kalyani Menon Sen36. Kamayani Bali Mahabal37. Kamini Tankha38. Kamla Bhasin39. Kavita Krishnan40. Kavita Srivastav41. Khyochano Ovung42. Kiran Shaheen43. Krishnakant44. Lata Singh45. Laxmi Murthy46. Madhu Mehra47. Madhu Bhushan48. Mahendra Yadav49. Manasi Pingle50. Mary Beth Sanate51. Mary John52. Medha Patkar53. Meena Seshu54. Meera Sanghamitra55. Mihira Sood56. Mini Mathew57. Mira Shiva58. Mohan Rao ￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼59. Monisha Behal60. Mukul Mangalik61. S Maya62. Nalini Vishwanathan63. Nalini Nayak64. Nandini Sundar65. Nandita Shah66. Nasreen Habib67. Neeta Hardikar68. Neera Javed Malik69. Nimisha Desai70. Nisha Biswas71. Nonibala Narengbham72. Padma Deosthali73. Padmini Kumar74. Pamela Philipose75. Panchali Ray76. Parul Sethi77. Patricia Mukhim78. Pramada Menon79. Pooja Bhatia80. Pushpa Achanta81. Radhika Desai82. Ratna Appender83. Renu Singh84. Richa Singh85. Rina Mukherji86. Ritu Dewan87. Rohini Hensman88. Roshmi Goswami89. Runu Chakraborty90. Sadhna Arya91. Sagari Ramdas92. Sana Contractor93. Sarojini N94. Saswati Ghosh95. Satnam Kaur96. Savita Sharma97. Seema Baquer98. Sejal Dand99. Shabnam Hashmi100. Sharanya Nayak101. Shewli Kumar102. Shoma Sen103. Sonali Udaybabu104. Sophia Khan105. SomaKP106. Subhash Gatade ￼￼￼￼￼107. Subashri Krishnan108. Sujatha Gothoskar109. Sumi Krishna110. Suneetha Dhar111. Surajit Sarkar112. Svati Joshi113. Svati Shah114. Swarnlatha115. Teena Gill116. Ujwala Kadrekar117. Uma Chandru118. Urvashi Butalia119. Urvashi Sarkar120. Vahida Nainar121. Vandana Prasad122. Vani Subramanian123. Vibhuti Patel124. Vimal Bhai125. Vipin Krishna126. Virginia Saldanha