Petition filed against exclusion of women in headmen election

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SHILLONG, JANUARY 20: A petition has been filed before the Meghalaya High Court seeking direction to give equal rights to women at par with men in the election process of Rangbah Shnong (headman) in Nohwet village.
The petitioner, a former Rangbah Shnong, Boswell Khongthohrem said women in Nohwet were prevented from taking part in the election process on January 3 by the Sordar, Nobelstar Khonglah, who is also the present acting-Rangbah Shnong.
Addressing a press conference here on Saturday, Khongthohrem said that on January 3, residents of the village protested against this act of “suppression” of women. The election process was later halted after the intervention of the Executive Magistrate from Pynursla Civil Sub-Division.
“Therefore, I filed a writ petition on January 17, urging the Court to give equal rights to all residents, both men and women above 18 years of age, to take part in the election process of the Rangbah Shnong in the village,” he said.
The former Rangbah Shnong said the Nohwet village dorbar passed a resolution on June 15, 2019, allowing women to take part in the election process of the village administration.
He said women were even not allowed to take part in the affairs of the ‘Dorbar Kut Snem’ (year-end dorbar) on August 31, 2018 as the Sordar Raid Rangnah and his secretary along with some men came to the meeting uninvited and created trouble.
He said he had also urged the Syiem of Hima Khyrim against the exclusion of women in the election process of Rangbah Shnong on December 18, 2019, but got no response. “Times have changed and we know women contribute and play very important roles in society. There cannot be a bar on women to elect a Rangbah Shnong,” Khongthohrem said.
(Courtesy: Newmai News)