Though Arunachal Pradesh graduated to a parliamentary form of democracy in 1978 with the first election to the 30-member assembly, but women are yet to show their presence in the house.
Despite the immense contribution of the fairer sex to the socio-economic development of this tribal dominated state, women representatives in the assembly has been negligible so far.
Sibo Kai was one of the three members nominated by the governor to the house, which held its first session at Itanagar on March 21, 1978, when P.K. Thungong of the Janata Party (JP) was the chief minister. The other ministers were Gegong Apang, Tadar Tang, Soben Tayeng and Nokme Namati.
There were a total of 86 candidates – 29 JP, 21 People's Party of Arunachal (PPA), one Indian National Congress and 35 independents in the fray, including two women – Nyari Welly and Omem Deori, and both were defeated.
Of the total 105 nominations filed, 86, including 35 independents in the hustings, the JP won 17 seats, while eight seats went to the PPA and five went to independents.
The election saw a peculiar situation in many constituencies with members of the same families, even brothers or clans fighting against each other on different party tickets. Ziro constituency had recorded the maximum six candidates but it was captured by an independent.
In 1980, social worker Nyari Welly became the first women elected member to win on a PPA ticket from among two contestants; in 1984, Welli (INC) and Komoli Mossang (Ind) won from among five woman contestants; in 1990, Mossang and Deori won on INC tickets.
In 1995, Yadap Apang (INC) of the four aspirants; in 1999, Makeup Dolo (Ind) of the four aspirants had won while Nyani Natung and Yari Dulom of INC were elected in by-elections in 2001 and2002 respectively following the deaths of their husbands.
In 2004, Natung and Dulom of INC from among nine woman candidates, while in 2009, Karya Bagang (Trinamool Congress) and Nang Sati Mein (Ind) had emerged victorious from among the nine female candidates.
Though the women crossed the 33 per cent reservation mark in the 2008 and 2013 panchayat elections, and in the 2013 municipality elections, but the male-dominated society is yet to nominate an adequate number of women to fight assembly elections in the state.
Despite all national parties, including the ruling Congress and opposition BJP advocating women empowerment as an avowed party policy, seven women were fielded, including few filtered through the party lists to face the 2014 assembly polls. They are Karya Bagang and Gum Tayeng (INC), Debia Tara (BJP), Toko Sheetal (PPA), Taba Nirmali (NCP), Pike Pulu (NPF) and Yai Mara (Ind) while other parties drew blank this time.
If at all the parties believe women are an indivisible part of the society, isn't it discrimination?
However, APCC president Mukut Mithi, while releasing the party manifesto on March 27 last, had clarified that two INC woman candidates of the five applications received were given tickets on the basis of winability, which would improve in next election.