Gender bias starts from home, says minister
Kohima, May 5 (EMN): Since its inception in the year 1992, the Pochury Women Organisation of Kohima (PWOK) has been working for the progress and welfare of women in particular and the Pochury tribe in general.
Celebrating the essence of women, PWOK celebrated its silver jubilee with the theme ‘know your strengths’ with Minister for School Education & SCERT Yitachu and parliamentary secretary for MTF & Lotteries Khriehu Liezietsu as the guest of honour at Ura Academy Hall in Kohima town.
Addressing the womenfolk, Yitachu said that the world had progressed with women partnering with men. ‘No nation or any given polity in the world has progressed or achieved civilization without providing equal opportunity to the women, be it in the field of education, health care, economic and peaceful prosperous social living.’
Though the Naga people talk about equal opportunity and equal status between men and women, Yitachu opined that the ground reality was ‘very different from what has been projected and spoken to the outside world.’
Citing the recent crisis around the municipal elections in Nagaland, Yitachu said it has tarnished the image of the Nagas to the lowest to the outside world. It is a great challenge for the Nagas as a people and the womenfolk in particular to take the issue forward for equality of men and women in all spheres of life, he said.
While noting with regret that gender bias starts from home from mothers giving special preference and attention to the male child, he strongly asserted that it needs to be stopped altogether. Instead, he said, mothers have a big role in taking the lead in bringing changes in homes, church and society.
Nevertheless, he remarked that there had been much improvement in women empowerment and the participation of women in all spheres of life. The voice in support of women empowerment will continue to grow, he said.
In his short speech, Khriehu Liezietsu acknowledged pioneers for their vision to provide a platform for ‘sisterhood’ through the organization. While pointing out that God had bestowed upon the Pochury mineral wealth not found in any other areas in the state, and timber ‘which is highly sought after,’ Liezietsu maintained that the community has a big role to play in the development of the state. The organization was asked to educate the people to make best use of their natural resources.
Reminiscing on the formation of the organisation, founding member Neino Katiry recalled that the Pochury tribe being a minority and ‘backward’ in many aspects often faces discrimination from others.
She recalled that there were around 4-5 families and a few students in Kohima who were not well acquainted ‘due to lack of common platform, union and leaders who could guide and steer the community.’ Hence, the people from the tribe were often neglected and deprived, she implied.
Feeling the sad predicament of the community, Neino and two other members, late Thono Thurr and Sanuo Jurry, decided to take the initiative to make a difference to empower and uplift the women and to alleviate the status of their people. An informal group meeting gradually led to the formation of the Pochury Women Welfare Society. The group was renamed Pochury Women Organisation of Kohima in 2010.
Katiry called upon the womenfolk to renew their efforts and work for the progress and prosperity of the community.