Wednesday, December 08, 2021

Gender equality embedded in law books: Governor

By EMN Updated: Apr 26, 2014 12:41 am

Women empowerment & leadership summit underway


Governor of Nagaland, Dr. Ashwani Kumar today said that unless women are empowered as equal partners in the journey of progress, the future growth of society will become lopsided. Pointing out when the female gender makes up about 48-49% of the total population of the country, the governor questioned how then, can the people hope to win the race without taking them (women) along with the rest.
Dr. Ashwani Kumar was speaking the inaugural function of the two-day Women Empowerment & Leadership Summit being held at the Bamboo Hall, Kisama on Friday.
In India, he stated the country has come a long way since the dawn of the concept of equality and shortly after Independence in 1950, the right to gender equality has been enshrined in the Constitution. The governor pointed out that details of gender equality are also embedded in the law books and every rule of the government and all states are duty bound to implement these instructions as well as take measures to ensure equal playing field for girls and women in education, employment and economy. However, he lamented that there is a huge gap between what is laid down in the Constitution and the reality on the ground. “The lofty ideals of equality have remained confined to the books,” he said and went on to add that gender discrimination is widespread.
Dr. Ashwani Kumar asserted that while hardly 7-10% of women are able to get elected in decision making bodies, women abusers and even rapists get elected and become decision makers. He noted that the situation is worse in some of the northeast states where there are assemblies and local bodies without any women representative. The blame is attributed to culture, customs and tribal traditions, he said, adding, “I think it is the mindset and the status quo mentality which is the biggest hindrance.” He underscored that status quo has to be challenged and changed to bring about equality and for rapid social, economic and political development.
Also, laying emphasis that empowerment of women is something much more than mere reservation of seats in local bodies and legislative assemblies, the governor said empowerment implies equal partnership in all walks of life, for which women need to be properly educated and made economically independent. He mentioned a recent research where women were found to have a natural edge in certain fields like education, communication, consultancy, media, management, health, hospitality, arts and culture among others, and observed that it would be useful for women to gain leadership roles in these areas.
With the emergence of computers, internet and social media as great empowering tools of the 21st century, Dr. Ashwani Kumar said another area where women should make the biggest effort is the information technology. He cited the December 2012 gruesome rape and murder of a woman in Delhi which shook the nation and the subsequent adoption of stringent laws for crimes against women, stating, had it not been for information technology it would have taken years to bring about required changes. He further expressed belief that the attitude and mindset of the people can be changed with the help of communication technology.
In his address, parliamentary secretary for Women Development, Pukhayi Sumi who was the guest of honour of the occasion, lauded the Alaphra Group for organizing such programme and bringing together influential women leaders together. He expressed hope that the summit will ignite multitudes to bring change in the society.
Social activist and Padmashree, Neidonuo Angami who delivered the keynote address said that women empowerment begins with gender equality, which can only be realized through overcoming gender related discrimination and violence, equal education and employment opportunities and active participation of both men and women in decision making. Stating that though there are few northeast women who are playing significant roles in various sectors of the society despite huge disparities, she lamented that empowerment of women as equal citizens remain yet to be fully realized. The social activist, who is also a former leader of the Naga Mothers’ Association, stressed on the need to empower rural women. She also implied that the security and safety of women is a big issue that needs to be addressed for a safer social atmosphere.
Also, stating that with climate change gradually devastating the resources of life, the Padmashree underscored the need for a close study to bring out innovative ideas defining the roles of women in the effort to protect and preserve the environment.
“It is high time for us to say that any decision made without the participation of women cannot be accepted as mutual agreement,” she asserted.
Later in the afternoon session, there were panel discussions on Multidimensional Approach to Women Empowerment, Women Equality and Striving in an Unequal World, and The Status of Women in Today’s Society. The panellists include a host of influential people from diverse backgrounds such as North East Network executive director, Dr. Monisha Behal; IIE Centre for Industrial Extension head, Sriparna B. Baruah; APAC CXO Forum chairman, Ajay K. Dhir; Manipur University associate professor and sociologist, Dr. Vijaylakhsmi Brara; NMA advisor, Rosemary Dzuvichu; Chief Judicial Magistrate Kohima, Mezivolu Therieh; retired bureaucrat, Khekiye K. Sema; Quizcraft Global Knowledge Solutions founding partner and director, Mudita Chauhan; and HAWA founder-director and writer, Susan Waten. The sessions were moderated by Editor Eastern Mirror, Bano Haralu, QGKS director, Mudita Chauhan and INTACH Nagaland state convener, Padmashree Sentila T. Yanger.

By EMN Updated: Apr 26, 2014 12:41:47 am