Denial of tickets by political parties for contesting elections or attempts to sideline women leaders by various traditional institutions are some of the major reasons behind the low representation of women in decision-making bodies of the region, this has come to light in a survey carried out by Centre for Development and Peace Studies (CDPS). The survey titled ‘Tribal Women’s Rights in Northeast India’ was carried out in Nagaland, Meghalaya, and the Hill district—Dima Hasao and Karbi-Anglong of Assam.
Speaking on the issue, Wasbir Hussain, Executive Director of CDPS stated, ‘Women have a high status in the Northeast but the fact remains that we find very few women in decision-making positions. Many do not venture into politics or are denied opportunities to do so.’ He also said that women in Northeast are, however, aware of their lawful rights but they hardly approach the court for the same.
The study further disclosed that awareness regarding gender equality is low in the region. It is also found that poor penetration of internet services in many areas is the reason behind low awareness about women’s rights among the tribal population of the region. Delivering the key note, Jeuti Barooah, Former Director, Law Research Institute and former professor and Dean School for the Study of Culture, Central University of Jharkhand pointed out that this is an era where women are continuously fighting for their rights, and everyone in favour of an equitable society need to join in.