Could Mizoram see 7 women candidates in upcoming elections?
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Aizawl: The upcoming Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) elections in Mizoram could feature seven women candidates from various parties and one independent contender. 

The Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM), one of Mizoram’s prominent political parties, had previously announced two women candidates for the upcoming elections. Baryl Vanneihsangi is set to contest from the Aizawl South III constituency while Lalrinpuii will vie for the Lunglei East constituency.

Meanwhile, a report in a vernacular paper Zalen revealed that B Lalawmpuii, who currently holds the position of Executive Corporator in the Aizawl Municipal Council, could contest from Aizawl East II for the ruling party, Mizo National Front (MNF). Though her campaign has already commenced, her candidacy awaits official confirmation from the MNF.

The Indian National Congress is yet to make an official announcement but could field two women candidates. Vanlalawmpuii Chawngthu, a former minister, is expected to contest from Kolasib while the party is introducing a new face, Meriem L Hrangchal, who will vie for the Lunglei South constituency.

In an interesting twist, Lalrinmawii, an independent candidate from Chhiahtlang, has launched her campaign independently, hoping to make her mark in the upcoming elections.

Additionally, a lesser-known political group, ‘Lalpa Chhiahlawh Intelkhawm,’ which translates to “a unit of God’s servants,” will have Lalruatfeli Hlawndo as a candidate in the Aizawl North I constituency. Lalruatfeli had previously contested unsuccessfully in the 2018 elections representing the party Zoram Thar. 

Mizoram’s electoral rolls have consistently displayed a higher number of women compared to men. However, since Mizoram started having assembly elections in 1972, only four women have been elected to the Mizoram Legislative Assembly. As of 2023, not a single woman has made it to Parliament. 

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In the 2018 elections, the Mizoram Assembly faced a situation where not a single woman legislator was elected, with all 15 female candidates running for office experiencing defeat. Among the 209 candidates who competed in the election, 15 were women, marking the highest number of female candidates ever in the state’s assembly polls. Of a total of 707,395 eligible voters, about 620,332 individuals exercised their voting rights on November 28. Within this turnout, over half were women.

According to a report by Firstpost, political analysts attributed the failure of women to win the assembly election to the Mizo society being strictly patriarchal and the major political party’s refusal to field women candidates. 

The Mizo National Front (MNF), securing 26 out of 40 seats in the House, did not include any women candidates in their lineup. In contrast, the BJP, despite winning just one seat, emerged as the party with the highest number of female candidates, fielding a total of six. Additionally, the ‘Zoramthar,’ a religious-based group, had five women candidates in the fray.

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