On 8th August 2020, Conrad Kongkal Sangma, Chief Minister of Meghalaya informed the cabinet’s approval for the passage of the “Policy on Reservation of seats for Women in Village Employment Councils(VECs)”, the policy of reserving 50% seats for women in the village level community institutions.
This policy ensures the empowerment of Women by establishing a forum for women to exercise their leadership and freedom.
i.The VECs are a political organisation established to implement the works of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act(MGNREGA).
ii.Under MGNREGA, in 2006 VECs were constituted in Every village of the state.
iii.The VECs consist of all male and female heads of every household with a headman as a head of the council.
iv.The available data states that only a few VEC’s have female members in chairperson Secretaries positions (112 and 260 respectively).
Policy on Reservation of seats for Women in Village Employment Councils:
- To address the problems related to gender equality and development issues.
- To involve active participation from women.
i.The Secretary of VECs is reserved for women members in all VEC on a rotation basis. Active adult women community workers with leadership quality can contest for the post.
ii.The Chairperson position is also reserved for women in VECs and if the post of chairperson is not held by traditional heads in any of the VECs, the post will also be on a rotation basis.
Maternal and Infant Mortality rate:
i.The Maternal Mortality Rate(MMR) of Meghalaya is comparatively higher than the national average, the policy aims to encourage women to participate in public health which will bring down the MMR and Infant Mortality Rate (IMR).
Note:The life expectancy of the state is 62.3 years whereas the national average is 68.5 years.
Sustainable development goal 5 on gender equality:
i.With this policy the state government aims to improve its performance to achieve the Sustainable Development goal 5 (SDG-5) on Gender Equality by 2030.
ii.Among the states of India in the SDG 5 ranking, Meghalaya is ranked 25th.
Recent Related News:
i.Meghalaya’s Chief Minister(CM) & Finance minister Conrad Kongkal(K) Sangma resented a Rs 17,375 crore budget for the Financial Year(FY)2020-21 in the state assembly with the fiscal deficit of Rs 1,532 crore which is around 3.53 % of the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP).
ii.The Centre has approved 175 crore rupees for implementation of Jal Jeevan Mission(JJM) in Meghalaya during 2020-21. The allocation has been made on the basis of the Annual Action Plan presented by Meghalaya to National JJM, Ministry of Jal Shakti under which the state has proposed 100% tap connections to all the households by December, 2022.
Chief Minister– Conrad Kongkal Sangma
Governor– Tathagata Roy