The All India Congress Committee (AICC) and Meghalaya Pradesh Mahila Congress on Thursday announced the names of 10 women candidates for the upcoming Meghalaya Polls.
The 10 women candidates are - Jhanika Siangshai, Rona Khymdeit, Bethleen Dkhar, Venetia Pearl Mawlong, Dr Banidashisha Kharkongor, Lakyntiew Sohklet, Pynhunlang Nongrum, Victorealness Syiemlieh, Deborah C Marak, and Uttora G Sangma.
According to a statement from the Congress, this time in Meghalaya the Congress Party fielded ten women candidates who are accomplished women in their own right. The youngest is 28 years old. We are happy that they have come forward to serve the people of Meghalaya through the Congress Party. We also appeal to the women of Meghalaya to come forward and support our women candidates.
We would also like to mention that the Congress party has always encouraged women in politics. We have had women MLAs, Women Cabinet Ministers in Meghalaya, working president at the party level, women Rajya Sabha MP, member of the National Women Commissions from Meghalaya. Congress Party acknowledges the importance of women's participation in the decision-making process in governance, the statement added.
Mentioning that the Congress party is sensitive to the need of women of Meghalaya to have a meaningful source of income with which they will be able to sustain themselves and their families, it said, "Women in Meghalaya are known to be hardworking and efficient. Yet it is observed that many women still have a long way to go to become totally self-reliant and financially empowered. When a woman is self-reliant she can be a decision-maker for herself and her children's and her family's future."
"We understand that the needs of women change across age groups and we will work with women for their empowerment. Keeping this in mind Congress Party has proposed initiatives to improve women's lives," it added.
Pointing out that although the 2018 manifesto of the National People's Party (NPP) promised the empowerment of women in the state, the data tells us another story.
"The 5th round of the National Family and Health Survey (NFHS-5 2019-20) has exposed the condition of healthcare in Meghalaya regarding Maternal and Child Health, child vaccinations, and other aspects. Only 26 per cent of children under the age of 12 months have received any immunization," it said.
"Maternal Mortality rate is 197 per 100000. The infant Mortality Rate stands at 34 per thousand. The NPP has claimed that Institutional Delivery in the State has gone up to 64 per cent but the latest data from NFHS 5 shows that Institutional delivery in the state is only 58 per cent (as per NHFS) which is much lower than the national average of 88.6 per cent (NHFS 5)," it added.
Polls will be held in both the states of Meghalaya and Nagaland on February 27 while the counting is scheduled on March 2.
(With Inputs from ANI)