International Women`s Day observed widely in Manipur

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Manipur,IMPHAL, March 8: The International Women’s Day as in other parts of the world was also observed at several places in the state.

The United NGOs Mission of Manipur, UNM-M a network of NGOs also observed the day at the Lamyanba Shanglen today. Several women achievers and activists from all strata of life and from all districts of the state were also felicitated at the function.

The felicitated women include amongst others, Imphal Free Press Resident Editor, Chitra Ahanthem and three others- Radhamani, a woman mechanic; Ranita, a blind woman who serves the physically challenge persons in Jiribam and Laibi Oinam, an auto driver-whose stories IFP had already carried earlier.

The observation further called upon the civil societies of the state and the relevant government departments to look into a charter of demand and take action with regard to preventing crimes against women in the state and to ensure the safety of women. The observation was attended by representatives from 32 ethnic communities.

The other women achievers felicitated by UNM-M included Lourembam Pishak, the renowned Manipuri Film actor; VS Tanmila, a woman leader and a recipient of more than 14 awards at State level and International level running a children`s home; Jina Khumukcham,  a survivor of domestic violence and an renowned entrepreneur, Lucy a social activist from Maram; Zahida Sahahni, a Maulvi;  Lhingneilam Kipgen, Florence Nightingale awardee;   Wonchung Jajo President of the Christian Network of positive Women; Gangarani, a visually impaired conflict widow survivor and Shanglun, President of the Widow Welfare Society, Chandel.

Recognizing that the safety of women in the state of Manipur is being challenged due to the fabric of the economic, political and social conditions of the state, the gathering called for a holistic approach to bring and ensure the safety of women by recognizing and acknowledging the role of various stakeholders including community leaders.

In her key-note address, M Sobita, the co-convenor of the Women Committee of UNM-M said the strategic reasons for respecting the women achievers from the grassroots is to put a spotlight on  women who contribute to the protection of human rights and are role models for others. Many women are struggling for peace and human right throughout the day and night in the field of lively, from risk of Indian security forces, local thugs and gangs, risk of rape and other forms of violence, she said.

The charter of demands endorsed in the observation today called for a state women crime related helpline for prompt police and other relevant action, to ensure women friendly public transport systems in the state and adequate public toilets besides an account of legal actions and case progress of reported cases of violence against women.

The day was also observed at Kuki Inn, Imphal organized by the World Vision today on the theme “Celebrate the spirit of hope and courage in the midst of social challenges”.

Meanwhile, volunteers of Manipur Network of Positive People (MNP+) also submitted a memorandum to Ak Mirabai, Minister (Social Welfare and Co-operation) and Ram Muivah, Principal Secretary, Health and Family Welfare demanding inclusion of HIV co-infection with Hepatitis B and C treatment in the National and State treatment Program; endorsement and effective implementation of Greater Involvement of People living with HIV/AIDS (GIPA) as stated in National Aids Control Programme (NACP-III) at every level; increasing number of CD 4 machine and update machine in all districts and uninterrupted supply of OIs and ART centres, DOT centres in districts hospitals and PHC with periodic awareness programme for the general community; formation of state AIDS Council along the lines of the National AIDS Council to effectively mainstream the issue of HIV/AIDS in all government department and institutes; reservation for the employment to the government of Manipur for people living with HIV/AIDS; provision of beneficiary scheme easily available for women and children infected and affected by HIV/AIDS.

Speaking at the function Ram Muivah, Principal Secretary, Health and Family Welfare said women play a major role in the society. He further said we should recognize the role of women in every issue in our state today.

Speaking at the function Ak Mirabai, Minister (Social Welfare and Co-operation) said till now the role of women in the society has not been recognized and it clearly shows that it has been considered as “weaker section”.

She continued that even though Violence Against Women Act 2005 and Indian Constitution Article 14 and 15 provide equal right; few number of women apply seeking for their rights. A state commission has already been set-up for justice to women because till now crime against women is increasing day by day.

Meanwhile, the Kanglei Chanura Chaokhat Lamchinglup (KANGLEICHAL) had also observed the day at JN Dance Academy Hall under the theme “Nupida meeot meenei hengatlakpa amasung chatnariba wayel amadi cheirak-ki kanglonsing” today.

During the occasion, moderated by Potshangbam (O) Surbala, Retd District and Sessions Judge resource persons namely Priyadasini M Gangte, Associate Prof Damdei Christian College; Angomcha Araba; Chief Administrator Life Watch; Dr N Pramod, Associate Prof LMS Law College; Ningthouja Lancha, Cultural Activist; A Mobi, President AMWJU; and Khoirom Loyalakpa, Editor Naharolgi Thoudang spoke on various topics.

Meanwhile, the International Women’s Day under the theme, “The Gender Agenda: Gaining Momentum” was observed at the Tangkhul Baptist Church, Imphal jointly organized by the Indigenous Women Forum for North East India, IWFNEI and Naga Women’s Union, NWU and hosted by Imphal Tangkhul Shanao Long, ITSL, said a press statement of the NWU.

It continued that women representatives from various tribes and groups – Anal, Chothe, Kuki, Lamkang, Maring, Moyon, Maram, Nepali, Poumai, Rongmei, Tiddim Chin and Tangkhul attended the celebration.

Women groups from various districts participating at the 4-days (5-8 March) workshop on “Empowering Indigenous Women in Traditional Customary Institutions” organized by Indigenous Women Forum for North East India (IWFNEI) also attended the event.

The Keynote address was delivered by Ms Aram Pamei, President Naga Women’s Union (NWU) and Dr Achan Mungleng spoke on the theme. Dr Mungleng emphasized on the political participation of women in all matters of peace and security, at the backdrop of conflict situation in our region. She stressed the urgent necessity of the Universal Implementation of UNSCR 1325 on Women, Peace and Security.

There were sharings from Dr Gina Shangkham (IWFNEI) and Ms Vahchin Haokip, Vice President, Kuki Women Union Manipur (KWUM). Dr Shangkham spoke on the situation of women in the conflict situation while Ms Haokip stressed on the role of women in the society. There was interaction and discussions after the presentations and sharings.

The women present at the event called for wider participation of women from all districts of Manipur in the celebration of International Women’s Day in the future l; Indian Government to observe International Women’s Day as National Holiday and for the Indian Government to approve UNSCR 1325 and implement the resolution.

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