WAD to demand enactment of special law for women’s safety in armed conflict

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IMPHAL, Dec 13: The closing ceremony of the International Fortnight Observation protesting violence against women which was started on November 25-12 December was held today at the Gandhi Memorial Hall, Imphal.
The ceremony held under the theme ‘Structures of Violence: defining the intersections of militarism and violence against women’ and organized by the Women Action for Development and was attended by Narendra Ningomba, renowned Shumang Leela director cum artiste, Yumnam Rupachandra, chief editor ISTV and Irengbam Arun, editor Ereibak daily, Th Tombi Devi, president WAD and Saratchand Thiyam, eminent writer.
Speaking at the occasion, Y Rupachandra declared that the state has still various reported and unreported acts of violence against women as was seen on November 25, when various local media houses had reported about a woman being found murdered and further added that the people of the state need to be considerate and understanding towards the issue.
However the issue cannot be stopped right away and it needs a gradual campaign to abolish it, Rupachandra opined. He also said that organizations like the Women Action for Development and other like minded NGOs should spread the awareness on violence against to women and children.
Rupachandra appeal various NGOs on the issue, to be the frontrunners and to come forward with actions and with not just words. He also appreciated the various NGOs working along with WAD in the state on the issue of violence against women and children.
M Sobita secretary WAD in her key-note address put forth that the responsibility to protect women from various forms of violence is not only of the man, but the woman themselves have the largest responsibility towards protecting themselves.
She further maintained that the courage and sacrifices of the mothers of the state in the Nupilal movement against the British plays a big role in the survival of the people including both man and woman in the state today.
She also maintained that the women of the state are in an extremely difficult situation because of the military oppression under the Armed Forces (Special Power) Act 1958. The state has seen many a women being raped and mercilessly killed, and because of the ongoing armed conflict the state has seen hundreds of victims like Lungnila Elizabeth, Thangjam Manorama, Rose, Ester Anal, Rabina to mention a few.
Further, she also announce that the WAD will be submitting a charter of demands to both the central and state government very soon on the issue of violence against women and children.
The demands include enactment of special law for women in the context of armed conflict, she noted. Another demand is establishment of special court for women for speedy trial of cases related to crime against women for special protection. Another key demand to be made is that women who survived in incidents related to violence against women should be given special attention by the government.
The closing ceremony also had various prize distributions of the song lyrics writing competition, slogan writing competition and essay writing competition which were held earlier as part of the Fortnight Observation.

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