United Democratic Party (UDP) leader Jemino Mawthoh has expressed support for women becoming actively involved in the local Dorbar Shnongs.
“I have said several times before that tradition is dynamic, which does not mean that we break away from our traditions but we strengthen them because we cannot function the same way that we did 200 years ago,” Mawthoh, the general secretary of the party, told Highland Post.
Women should not only participate but should be engaged in the decision making process, deliberate at the community, village and dorbar levels, he added.
“We have seen tall (female) leaders in the world like Indira Gandhi, Margaret Thatcher and so many that have led their nations,” Mawthoh said.
Traditional dorbars have seen changes over the years, he pointed out, such as the inclusion of auditing of their accounts. Likewise, the participation of women according to the changing times will be welcome so long as it is done in the “proper way”.
Recently, a women’s organisation, the Lympung Ki Seng Kynthei (LKSK), held a discussion on the participation of women in politics, especially in traditional institutions such as the Dorbar Shnongs. They moved the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council and the latter will study the matter through a special panel.
LKSK president Theilin Phanbuh said that women break stereotypes by being successful members of the state legislature, senior members of the bureaucracy and also members of the autonomous district councils.
However, Phanbuh felt that though the state is celebrating its 50th anniversary of statehood, things have not changed in terms of allowing women to be decision makers in the local dorbar.
“We are concerned about the local dorbar. We want women to have an opportunity to participate. If any problem is faced by women, it is necessary for women to be part of the decision making process so that they can deal with the situation accordingly,” she said.
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