Are women leaders needed in the Naga Students’ Federation? Why?

Are women leaders needed in the Naga Students’ Federation? Why?

Some of those who voted YES had this to say:

• Yes, we need women participation and beyond the post of women co-ordinator and cultural secretary. We need our women prepared to take a stand and also create environment for her to respond. The cultural mindset and attitude towards women participation need to widen beyond kitchen and home. She is capable and has a share to contribute in nation building. Equal partners to evolve and serve together.


• Yes! A society can be called modern and civilized only when both gender are growing at one pace. Definitely, the NSF like any other social group in the society needs an equal participation of both genders or will be liable to term it as discriminatory agent in the present context.


• Yes, If women start leading such organizations, then will the Nagas would grow up to its fullest


• Yes. Equitable representation.


• Yes. NSF does not discriminate women aspirants. There have been two women who have occupied the 2nd top positions of the Federation – the General Secretary. But it will be very encouraging to have a Woman to lead the Federation after all the present down trend of the NSF that the society is witnessing.


• Yes. As men and women are equally important and both play a vital role in the society. No women should be abstained from enjoying one’s rights and must be given equal opportunity as men. As such, in no denial there is a necessity for women leaders in NSF and women should be propel to take part in politics as well.


• Yes, women should be a priority and should have equal rights and representation. Women can lead a better way they understand both men and women equally.


• Yes, we need women participation in NSF platform students membership are from both men and women


• In every area both a man and a woman’s perspective is needed, so yes, women participation is needed.


• 100%yes! Women are the best architect of the society in general. When we look into our Naga society, the women play the most important role – she is the mother, mother-in-law, sister, wife and daughter, overall responsibilities is shower on her. So, in order to well play or exhibit her role, it is wise to have knowledge in every field and it’s a high time to give space to the women in every field. “God created Eve (woman) with purpose.”


• Yes not only in the NSF, but also in other political groups too.


• Absolutely yes!


• NSF is a democratic federated body, without women participation and contribution, NSF is just a men’s club! No real weight and substance.


• Yes. Nagas are a very conservative society. We talk about how free the women folk are but when it comes to empowering them, we see how violent the men folk can get. Memories are still very freshly embedded in our minds, so we have to change our mindset and start walking the talk.
• Yes and also in the state assembly.


• Absolutely, this is the need if the hour in every organization. Looking at the NSF conference, women were seen taking major roles in compering events, singing, dancing, debates, presentation etc. When women get involved in all major roles, why can’t they stand up more in decision making? Unless women themselves come forward, we will not see the change we desire.


• Yes. As women are also very much a part of the student body. Likewise, in other sectors, I would suggest to give 33% reservations to women in all the office mechanism starting from the President post. Who knows, change maybe different with women in office.


• This rather long. Being narrated below is from a WhatsApp a friend posted and I don’t know the author…but I am posting it here as I find it relevant to this very important question of Women in Student Bodies, in this case the NSF, something that Nagas need to come to terms with, sooner than later.


The question posed by The Morung Express has a huge ramification and bearing on how we Nagas want to look at the question of gender equality and feminism (we are not living in an island but an increasingly globalised world). And so much so especially for a society and a “unique Naga peoples” known the world over whose ethos is egalitarian and democratic. On the question of gender and feminism, some of us Nagas; me too, are oscillating between life in the “Comfort Zone” and “Fear Zone.” We probably need to shift gears to the “Learning Zone” and consequently transcend to the “Growth Zone.”


the Comfort Zone is characterised by “feeling safe and in control” (men’s feeling of being or imagining or forcing to be in control). Everybody needs and wants (rather, “should want”) to be and in control. 50-50 ratio of “wanting” and “giving” control is a healthy state of mind to be in. “Control” is a basic psychological need for humans; even animals, for that matter.


The second level is the “Fear Zone” which is characterised by lack of self-confidence, finding excuses (bringing culture, ethos, tradition, 371A, et cetera) and being affected by others’ opinion (empowered girls increasingly “asserting” themselves more than ever, while some ignorantly call it aggression).


The “Learning Zone” is about “dealing with challenges and problem” (What is the strategy and perspective of Nagas for the emancipation of their women). In other words, how do the Nagas look at the question of empowering their women?


The Learning Zone is also about “acquiring new skills” (people skills, skills of writing, speaking, analytical, organising, mobilising, campaigning, leadership, singing, painting, dancing, sculpting, etc.) and “extending our comfort zone”. You still feel safe and in control in the new and extended Learning Zone.


The last zone – the “Growth Zone” then is about “Finding Purpose”, “Living Dreams”, “Setting New Goals”, “Conquering Objectives”.


The question is really about whether Nagas can afford to sacrifice it’s traditional participatory democratic system of governance at the alter of Indian Parliamentary form of democracy. If we want to former, what do we have in store for our women and girls in Students Unions at Tribal level and in NSF and also in Village Councils and even Khel and Clan levels. Is it possible for Nagas to have women reps in Clan and Khel levels?


If we want the Indian or British form of Parliamentary democracy (where the elected representative MLA or MP stays put for five years and whether you like him or not, you will have no voice or power even if he wants to defect to another Party).


These questions merit serious discussions and we cannot live in a fast changing world with an attitude of “my way or the highway.” Neither should we “walk out of the room” just because you don’t like someone else’s opinion or perspective. Most importantly, we would do well by not resorting to “emotional outbursts” and “extreme behavior.”


• Yes. Nagas are a very conservative society. We talk about how free the women folk are but when it comes to empowering them, we see how violent the men folk can get. Memories are still very freshly embedded in our minds, so we have to change our mindset and start walking the talk.


• Yes and also in the state assembly.


• Absolutely, this is the need if the hour in every organization. Looking at the NSF conference, women were seen taking major roles in compering events, singing, dancing, debates, presentation etc. When women get involved in all major roles, why can’t they stand up more in decision making? Unless women themselves come forward, we will not see the change we desire.


• Yes. As women are also very much a part of the student body. Likewise, in other sectors, I would suggest to give 33% reservations to women in all the office mechanism starting from the President post. Who knows, change maybe different with women in office.


• This rather long. Being narrated below is from a WhatsApp a friend posted and I don’t know the author…but I am posting it here as I find it relevant to this very important question of Women in Student Bodies, in this case the NSF, something that Nagas need to come to terms with, sooner than later.


The question posed by The Morung Express has a huge ramification and bearing on how we Nagas want to look at the question of gender equality and feminism (we are not living in an island but an increasingly globalised world). And so much so especially for a society and a “unique Naga peoples” known the world over whose ethos is egalitarian and democratic. On the question of gender and feminism, some of us Nagas; me too, are oscillating between life in the “Comfort Zone” and “Fear Zone.” We probably need to shift gears to the “Learning Zone” and consequently transcend to the “Growth Zone.”


The Comfort Zone is characterised by “feeling safe and in control” (men’s feeling of being or imagining or forcing to be in control). Everybody needs and wants (rather, “should want”) to be and in control. 50-50 ratio of “wanting” and “giving” control is a healthy state of mind to be in. “Control” is a basic psychological need for humans; even animals, for that matter.


The second level is the “Fear Zone” which is characterised by lack of self-confidence, finding excuses (bringing culture, ethos, tradition, 371A, et cetera) and being affected by others’ opinion (empowered girls increasingly “asserting” themselves more than ever, while some ignorantly call it aggression).


The “Learning Zone” is about “dealing with challenges and problem” (What is the strategy and perspective of Nagas for the emancipation of their women). In other words, how do the Nagas look at the question of empowering their women?


The Learning Zone is also about “acquiring new skills” (people skills, skills of writing, speaking, analytical, organising, mobilising, campaigning, leadership, singing, painting, dancing, sculpting, etc.) and “extending our comfort zone”. You still feel safe and in control in the new and extended Learning Zone.


The last zone – the “Growth Zone” then is about “Finding Purpose”, “Living Dreams”, “Setting New Goals”, “Conquering Objectives”.


The question is really about whether Nagas can afford to sacrifice it’s traditional participatory democratic system of governance at the alter of Indian Parliamentary form of democracy. If we want to former, what do we have in store for our women and girls in Students Unions at Tribal level and in NSF and also in Village Councils and even Khel and Clan levels. Is it possible for Nagas to have women reps in Clan and Khel levels?


If we want the Indian or British form of Parliamentary democracy (where the elected representative MLA or MP stays put for five years and whether you like him or not, you will have no voice or power even if he wants to defect to another Party).


These questions merit serious discussions and we cannot live in a fast changing world with an attitude of “my way or the highway.” Neither should we “walk out of the room” just because you don’t like someone else’s opinion or perspective. Most importantly, we would do well by not resorting to “emotional outbursts” and “extreme behavior.”


Some of those who voted NO had this to say:

• No. We need better leaders in the NSF. It means that both men and women need to be elected to their posts based on their own merits and achievements, and not based on political backing or lineage.

Some of those who voted OTHERS had this to say:

• Wrong question.


• Needed or not ….I don’t like the way The Morung Express wrote the question like as if women are barred from contesting election… Be realist…No quota please.


• Women? Men? I am not sure gender orientation is a silver bullet, but competence always is. Efficiency is gender blind and we all can agree to that. What NSF need are transparency in election of leaderships and integrity and aptitude of the same for greater interest of pan Nagas.


• No gender is barred from contesting student body election …The question The Morung Express should ask is: Why there is less or no female taking part in the student organisation?


• Only if they can able to give time and are capable.


• Depends on the need of the organisation, etc. It’s not for us to debate on their affairs at the moment.


• Women and girls are given greater responsibilities and lower positions in Nagaland, who make up half the Nagas. If the civil societies ignore the need of gender equality. We will continue to suffer from leadership crisis for more generations to come, because males and females are created to be a Team. The law of nature says – nobody is perfect.


• It was insightful to see more Naga women debating in the recent NSF debate on Naga issues. It’s not only in the NSF but Naga women leaders are very much needed in every sphere. We need leaders who won’t be a mere Secretary puppet following the diktat of the dominated men in power but someone with integrity, willingness and equal conviction to work for Naga society. Educational, they’re doing much better than men. The upliftment of their social and political status is the need.


• Feminism issue in NSF too. The paranoia is very real. My epic salute to those women who comes out of this sucrose medium to prove the paranoia wrong! Men are equal than women, and will always be. Please don’t inflict the blame on men, strong women won’t and that’s what they are made up of! Period!


• Half or more of various social movements at national, regional and international platforms are filled by women doing the diplomacy, advocacy and lobby works. Am sure younger generation contribution to the people’s cause can be through promoting a fair deal of participative space to our women partners to have an effective, strategic and wholesome outcome for a more gender sensitive society as well our struggles for peace, justice and democracy.


• Women should equally participate in holding the official post as women have more ideas.


• As per the Constitution of India we have reservation for women, so the women participations are more important for the upliftment of our social, economically and political scenario.