Manipur Women Rises to End Violence Against Women and Girls in State

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14 Feb 2013 Imphal, Manipur: 1 Billion Rising campaign states, “One in three women on the planet will be raped or beaten in her lifetime”. In India, according to National Crime Record Bureau in 2011, 14.7% rape cases are registered in cities while 85% rape cases are registered in rural India total of 2, 28,650 women faced violence and abuse during 2007-2011.In Northeast India, a total of 13,308 incidence of crime against women had been reported according to the National Crime Records Bureau 2011 with 11503 cases in Assam, 269 cases in Meghalaya, 1358 cases in Tripura, 167 cases in Mizoram, 247 cases in Manipur, 38 cases in Nagaland, 171 cases in Arunachal Pradesh and 55 cases reported in Sikkim. Not only in their states, Northeast Indian women are also prone and are vulnerable in metropolitan cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore etc.

Manipur Women Rises to End Violence Against Women and Girls in State
Manipur Women Rises to End Violence Against Women and Girls in State

Over 20,000 people have been killed in the last five decades due to ongoing conflict in Manipur. Today more than 30 armed groups operate in Manipur – ranging from small outfits to organizations with several thousand members. Besides them, dozens of battalions of the Indian Army and several units of Indian paramilitary forces are stationed throughout Manipur. Manipur is one of the most conflict-ridden states in India. Women and children of Manipur suffer most in this conflict. Every year 300 widows are born in the state as a result of arm violence.

In Manipur, violence against women is increasing. There were 269 cases of violence against women during the period between January and October of 2012 as per record published by local newspapers. The above cases include 21 rape cases, two rape and murder cases, 16 suicide cases, 7 molestation cases, 4 kidnapping cases, 56 missing cases and 78 trafficking cases. There has been a steep rise in crime against women in Manipur despite the emergence of a large number of women’s vigil groups and civil bodies and higher recruitment in the police department. There are various forms of violence against women. Violence at home – it can be physical abuse, it can verbal abuse. Then, there is violence in public places such as buses, trains where women are sexually harassed. Then we have a third form of violence where there is conflict, where there is structured conflict going on since decades. Women in Manipur face all the three types of violence. Manipur has the second highest rate in domestic violence in the country.

Gender analysts here said, delayed delivery of justice; poor economic condition and imposition of the controversial Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) are some of the factors fuelling crime against women in the state. They said lack of human rights and gender equality education in police training and non-implementation of gender issues in education are adding to the problem.

Women of Northeast India are joining the One Billion Rising Global Campaign in solidarity to stop any form of violence against women. The One Billion Rising Campaign is a global campaign by women for women. The campaign calls for an end to violence, and for justice and gender equality. On February 14, 2013, a one-day event will be held, a call for one billion women around the world to walk away from their homes, businesses, and jobs, and join together to dance in a show of collective strength. The word “billion” refers to the one billion women who are survivors of abuse. As of September 20, 2012, people from 160 countries have signed up to take part in the campaign. The campaign was initiated by playwright and activist Eve Ensler. The campaign was in part inspired by the Todd Akin ‘legitimate rape’ and pregnancy comment controversy. Ensler, shocked at Akin’s statement, wrote an open letter in response. Around 5,000 organizations have joined the campaign, which has also been aided or endorsed by religious ministers, movement builders, actors Rosario Dawson, Robert Redford, and Stella Creasy, British Labour Co-operative politician.

Manipur Women Gun Survivors Network and Northeast India Women Initiative for Peace will be organising a meeting on the theme “Strategizing to End Violence against Women in Manipur” on 14 Feb 2013, 10 am to 12 pm at the Classic Hotel, Imphal, Manipur. The event was organized to support and join the One Billion Rising Global Campaign in solidarity as we feel that, gender equality is, first and foremost, a human right, women are entitled to live in dignity and in freedom from want and from fear. Empowering women is also an indispensable tool for advancing development and reducing poverty. The conference will find ways to address the issue and to ensure for immediate steps from concerned authorities to stop violence against women.

For more information, kindly contact

Ms Binalakshmi Nepram
Founder, Manipur Women Gun Survivors Network
Email: [email protected]

Ms Reena Devi Mutum
Coordinator, Manipur Women Gun Survivors Network
Email: [email protected]

Address for correspondence: Sagolband Nepra Menjor Leikai, Imphal West, Manipur 795001.
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