As the world commemorates ‘Human Rights Day‘ on 10th December ‘Hungreiphy ZAS Zimik a young Baptist indigenous theologian shares her story and efforts to promote ‘Women’s Rights are Human Rights and ‘Indigenous Women Right to Inheritance of Ancestral Property’. Zimik states “I am indigenous woman and belong to Tangkhul Naga Tribe from Ukhrul District in Hungpung Village in state of Manipur in India. My immediate family consist of six members i.e. my mother, father, two brothers, me and my sister. Tangkhul indigenous society is a classless society and forbids any kind of unreasonable discrimination among the members of the tribe. However there are certain areas guided by indigenous customary laws where the principle of ‘Rights to Equality’ of men and women cannot be strictly applied.
Tangkhul tribe women are not allowed to participate in the decision making process of the village till date. They are not given recognition as members of the Village Assembly. Tangkhul women are also prohibited to become Village Councillors even though Government of India and our constitution allows equality. No Tangkhul village has a woman Village Councillor till date. Thus, the general expression ‘Equality before Law’ has got no central place for women in my tribe.