Victimisation of women is deep-rooted in India: SS Chhabra

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Int’l women’s day widely observed in state

IMPHAL, March 8: The Iron lady of the state struggling for more than last 13 years demanding the repeal of AFSPA is a symbol of empowerment in Manipur.  

This was stated by SS Chhabra, OSD (SW), CEO (MSRRDA), member secretary (MCPCR) Government of Manipur during the observation of International Women’s Day under the theme “Equality for women is progress for all” at State Bal Bhawan, Khuman Lampak on Saturday.

He pointed out that the International Women’s Day was first observed on March 19, 1911 in USA as the International Working Women’s Day. It began to be observed in March 8 from 1914 onwards.

“Women taking part in the Panchayat level is encouraging but their significant contribution at the Parliamentary level despite reservations is negligible and they don’t take part in forming governments. We need to mobilize them for faster development in the country.”

He said that women are still victimized specially in the rural areas of India. The problem is deep rooted in the country and there is a spurt in crimes against women.

“On the other hand, there are no places in the universe where women have not made their presence felt. They now occupy office chambers and have travelled to space. The Indian government has set up a fast track court for delivering justice to cases of crime against women.”

Director of Social Welfare L Ibobi Singh said the International Women Day started from USA after employed women were given minimum wages and harassed in the work places. The work place was dominated by the males but one day the women workers stand together and agitated for their rights. The United Nations in 1975 announced the day as International Women’s Day and it has been observed ever since.

He said that crimes against women often occur in developing countries but in developed countries it is in a declining stage. In the context of Manipur during 1975-76, there were no report of rapes or crime against women but it has increased with globalization.

Observing that this is due to our society being male-dominated, he hoped that such trend would change one day when the time comes.

We need to change the way we preferred sons to daughter as parents. Literate women don’t face such discriminations but illiterate women in rural areas face it most of the time. The need of the hour is to educate the girl child so that they can know their constitutional rights.

In his keynote address, Deputy Director (WP) of Social Welfare Surendar A Shishak Social said that the theme of the observation is to create equality for women.  “Manipuri women have achieved in various fields like sports, art and culture, and education at the international level. Many civil officers are from among the women. In the Panchayati Raj level we have made some progress but lagged far behind,” she said.

Joint secretary (SW & Home) H Rupachardra Singh was present as president of the function.

The day was also observed at several other places in the state.

The Manipur State Commission for Women observed the International Women’s Day on Saturday at Kuranganayani Hall in the DC Complex with the themes ‘Inspired Economic Freedom for Women’ and for international ‘Inspiring Changes.’  

Chairperson of Manipur State Commission for Women (MSCW)Dr L Ibetombi devi, MSCW member  June Rose Vaiphei, MSCW member Hodam Piteswori alias Memi Devi, and Prof RK Lenin Singh of the  Psychiatric Department in RIMS were the presidium members.

Ibetombi said that women should live peacefully and also be aware of socio-economic and political policies and know the conditions of women elsewhere.

“They need to work practically giving awareness and spreading information about the rights of women in the state. Awareness should be given not only in a day but needed to be spread all the time.”

She said that in 2006 the commission had started working but by 2007 it began its full-fledged operations. It started working on issues like groping of women, struggles faced by women. The commission had worked on so many issues related with women’s right and also gave awareness.

She said that instead of woman looking down upon one another it is better to support each other and also giving awareness about the rights of women. She said that 33% reservations should be given to women and more sits for women should be added.

The International Women’s Day was also organised by Francois-Xavier Bagoud at its Manipur branch in Singjamei.

To make the day special, FXB India Suraksha is hosting a series of events in Tamil Nadu, AP Jharkhand, Manipur and UP.

On the occasion, Mamta Borgoyary, CEO FXB India Suraksha acknowledged and addressed the group in Ranchi.

In Manipur, women SHG members who once faced HIV/AIDS now living a content life got together for the day at the office and complex of FIX India suraksha Manipur- Singjamei. The celebration primarily revolved around sharing their experiences of leaving behind a tough life and starting new chapters in their journey. While some poured out their sentiments by singing Manipur folk songs and other just talked about how they progressed in their lives with FIX support. They were also glad to have Ima Medinee and Dhaneshwori and also shared lot of views on how as women one should take up challenges in their lives.

The All Manipur Women’s Voluntary Association (AMAWOVA) organised the day at Gandhi Memorial Hall and Kanglei Ima Lup (KIL) at Lamyanba Sanglen.

Speaking at the observation, organised by AMOWAVA general secretary, Ksh Sujata said that women are facing different kinds of abuses which were suppressed till now and the women society keep on pressing to stop such kind of inhuman act towards them.

“The people of the state witnessed that many women have been raped, murdered, tortured and even turning them to live the lives of widows, she said, adding that there is no meaning of having a government if they are a party to such practices.

Racial discrimination has been continuing due to our different appearance and north east women continue to be abused. However, the Delhi police have refused to take actions against the culprits, she added.

In another observance of the International Women’s Day organised by KIL, RK Sanahanbi, the KIL president said that the world had adopted March 8 as International Women’s Day and organised various function in regard to it.

She continued that the women society faced various issues and will continue such activism, adding that women are living in a hope that such acts will come to an end but it has been increasing day by day.

However, cutting across the gender, women of every society have contributed in every movement to make a success, even-though, the women are neglected and abused.

Commemorating the 39 the International Women’s Days, the All Assam Manipuri Womens Meira Paibis Co-ordination Committee (AAMWMPCC) and United Womens Welfare Socity, Rongpur (UWWSR) also organised the day at the District Library, Silchar dedicating to Irom Chanu Sharmila.

The observation was attended Bijoya Kar Som, noted columnist of Barak Valley, as the chief guest while AAMWMPCC president Thinghaijam ongbi Sabitri and Ngariyambam ongbi Ibetombi, retired vice principal GC College, as the president and guest of honour respectively.

Dr L Joy Chanra Singh, Assistant Professor GC College Silchar and Phanjoubam Lokenath, student department of Law, Assam University, Silchar who attended as the resource person presented papers on Sharmila’s struggle.

Attending as the selected speakers Wangkhem Sarat Chandra, social activist, N Dhaja Singh, retired sub-major and Seram Herajit Singh, president All Assam Manipuri Students Union, presented their speeches.

The organisers presented Shawl and Mementor meant for Sharmila, to Roshan Sharma.

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