Aizwal, Dec.1 : Women in the Mizo society have always been described as its backbone. But for the first time in the history of Mizoram this fact will be prominently visible in polls on Tuesday (Dec.2).
Over 10 women candidates have filed their nomination, which is the highest ever in the history of Mizo State Assembly. It is likely that people will remember the 2008 Mizoram Assembly elections for the number of women candidates in the fray.
Drawn from diverse backgrounds and from different age groups - these women candidates have initiated an era of women's empowerment and their determination to be an integral part of the decision making process.
Interestingly, there is not a single woman MLA in the current Mizoram Assembly!
The women contestants here have been equally enthusiastic as their male counterparts during the campaign.
Zothankimi, an Indian National Congress (INC) candidate, said: "We are taking more and more active part in politics. I am personally encouraging the younger generation to participate in politics."
Since 1972, when Mizoram became a union territory and a full- fledged state in 1986, there have been only three women legislators - Thanmawii in 1978, K. Thansiami in 1979 and Lalhlimpui in 1987.
Mizo women have shown a keen interest in contesting the state assembly election. They have outnumbered the males in the state electoral list. There are 308,884 women voters as against 302,240 male voters.
C. Lalchhanhima, a local resident, said: "As responsible citizens of India we should cast our vote, I believe it is our right to vote. Whether it's a woman or man, if he or she is capable and worth electing, we must vote for the person without any discrimination."
Rpitjangpui, a local resident, said: "It is a good feeling after a long time that women are coming up to challenge the males."
A single-phase polling will be conducted on December 2 at 1,026 polling stations across the State for the 40-seat Mizoram Assembly.
Campaign for the elections to the 40-member Mizoram Legislative Assembly ended at 4 p.m. on Sunday.
The main contest is between the ruling Mizo National Front (MNF) and Indian National Congress, the main opposition party, with both entering into electoral tie up with smaller parties.