Nagaland’s two women legislators– minister for Women Resource Development & Horticulture Salhoutuonuo Kruse and advisor for Industries & Commerce Hekani Jakhalu, have welcomed the passage of the new Nagaland Municipal Bill, 2023 in the Assembly on Thursday.
Addressing a section of the media at the Assembly Secretariat here, Kruse termed it as a momentous day for the people of Nagaland, as it marked a significant leap towards gender equality and empowerment of women in the ULBs.
She said the Bill served as a testament to the unwavering dedication of the current government led by chief minister Neiphiu Rio in promoting women’s involvement in decision-making process and securing their representation in local governance.
She said the passage of the Bill by the Assembly was also a reaffirmation of the unwavering belief of the government in ensuring equal rights and opportunities for all, fostering an inclusive and forward-thinking society.
She owed “this victory” to the tireless efforts and advocacy of various woman organisations, activists and particularly the support of male counterparts who had vigorously championed for gender equality and for increased representation in governance.
The legislator hoped that people of Nagaland would create an environment that encouraged women to engage in politics, support their growth in leadership and also ensure active women participation in the decision-making processes for the betterment of the community.
Sharing similar views, Industries & Commerce adviser Hekani Jakhalu said passing of the Bill was an emotional moment.
“Finally, the time is here. I am extremely excited. When the Bill was passed in the Assembly, I felt very emotional. The timing is perfect. Now, it is an opportunity for women to excel, be on a par and show the world that we have arrived,” she stated.
She said the passage of the new Nagaland Municipal Bill, 2023 would help advance the agenda of women-led development because there were issues that only women understood, and they comprised 50% of the population.
“So, it is important that we understand the issues and causes of women. The future is bright now,” she remarked.
Thanking the menfolk for paving the way for the passage of the Bill, she mentioned that although it took a long time to come, as the matter was very sensitive and involved Naga customs and traditions, it was eventually passed by the House, where all the men in leadership positions had decided to support the Bill and help women become a part of the decision-making process. She offered her salute to all of them.
Answering a query on the post of chairperson that had not been included in the Bill, Jakhalu said women should be contended with what had been decided at the moment.
“We should be happy that we got into the system. Eventually, we will get to be chairpersons and deputy chairpersons if we perform. At this point of time, I think our womenfolk should just take each day as it comes, accept what the government has passed and good days are ahead of us,” she maintained.