Mizoram Witness Historic Moment: Woman MLA Assumes Speaker’s Seat

Woman MLA

On the eve of International Women’s Day, Mizoram, one of the country’s tiniest states with a 40-member assembly, made history with a woman legislator presiding over a session of the House for the first time.

As per a report from Aizawl, Baryl Vanneihsangi, an MLA from the ruling Zoram People’s Front (ZPM), occupied the Speaker’s seat to preside over a session on March 7.

Reporting on the “historic milestone” at the state assembly, The Mizoram Post wrote, “In a state where traditional gender roles have often relegated women to the side-lines of politics, Vanneihsangi’s ascension to the helm of the assembly sends a powerful message of empowerment and equality. It reflects a progressive shift towards embracing diversity and fostering inclusive governance practices.”

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State chief minister and ZPM top leader Lalduhoma marked the “significant historical landmark for the Mizoram assembly” by stating that it “underscores a momentous stride towards gender inclusivity in governance.”

In the recent assembly elections, Mizoram saw for the first time three women legislators, two of whom belong to the ZPM, and the third MLA from the other regional entity, the Mizo National Front (MNF).

Mizoram saw a woman minister for the first time only in 2017, when the Congress government made Lalawmpuii Chawngthu a junior minister in the Lalthanhawla regime.

After the recent assembly elections, ZPM made its other women MLA, 61-year-old Lalrinpuii, not just a minister but gave her cabinet rank. Lalrinpuii has thus become Mizoram’s first female cabinet minister.

In the 2019 general elections, Mizoram noted another first – a woman candidate in the fray for the lone Lok Sabha seat from the state. Lalthlamauni contested as an independent candidate but lost to C. Lalrosanga of the MNF.

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