Vice president M Venkaiah Naidu raised concerns about the poor women representation in state assemblies across the Northeast.
Addressing the Mizoram Legislative Assembly, Naidu, who is on a two-day visit to the state, said, “It is generally perceived that the women enjoy a better position in the socio-cultural and political matrix of this region, given its cultural ethos. But I find representation of women in the Legislative assemblies of the Northeastern states is on the lower side.”
While assemblies of Mizoram and Nagaland do not have any women members, those in Manipur and Tripura have only two and five, respectively.
“Of the total 498 members in the eight Legislative Assemblies of the region, there are only 20 women members constituting only four per cent. There is a strong case for involving more women members in the law-making process in the region. Even in the Parliament women constitute only about 11%,” he said, adding, “I sincerely hope that in the years to come, women will get elected in considerable strength to this Assembly.”
The poor representation of women across Northeastern state assemblies, however, didn’t deter the Vice President’s appreciation towards the region. Hailing the Northeast region as “pride of our great nation”, Naidu said that Mizoram would occupy the centre stage in the renewed Act East Policy of the Centre.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi has often spoken about the strengths and possibilities of the region and the immense collective potential it possesses. Truly, the eight states – Ashta Lakshmi, as some have called them – are the pride of our great nation,” said the ex-officio chairman of the Rajya Sabha.
Naidu, while highlighting the transformation taking place in the region, said that Mizoram will play an important role, and will serve as the all-important gateway of South East Asian economies into the region vis-a-vis the country.
“I am confident that in the coming years Mizoram will become a fulcrum in the region’s growth and development through the important Kaladan Multi Modal Project, which when completed, will transform the economy of not just Mizoram but the entire Northeastern region and help accelerate economic growth and development,” the Vice-President said.
Naidu, on March 10, became the first Indian Vice President to address the Mizoram legislature.