Meghalaya govt passes reservation of seats for women in VECs

Shillong: In a bid to give equal opportunity to women in Meghalaya, the Cabinet on Friday approved the ‘Policy on Reservation of seats for Women in Village Employment Councils (VECs)’.

After it was seen that the representation of women in VECs is quite poor in the state, to have more gender parity, it was decided that on a rotational basis women will be made elected as secretaries. A certain quota will be set aside for the women every two years.

The state government has brought the policy of reserving at least 50 per cent seats for women in the grassroots village level community institutions (VECs).

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Meghalaya chief minister Conrad K Sangma said that the policy aims to create an enabling environment for women to exercise leadership and give them equal opportunities in grassroot governance. VECs are apolitical organisations formed for implementation of MGNREGA works.

Sangma said that data available with the government states that in few VECs where female members hold the position of chairperson (112) and secretaries (260), the execution and maintenance of works and record keeping is found to be exemplary.

The VECs were constituted under MGNREGA in 2006 in every village. VECs comprised of all male and female heads of each households with the traditional Headman generally heading the Council. With active involvement of the traditional institutions, the VECs have been performing well across the State. A need is felt to upscale the effectiveness of the VECs and the policy aims to empower the women.

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