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Nagaland

Gender equity awareness workshop

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By EMN Updated: Sep 13, 2013 1:04 am
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Correspondent
KOHIMA, SEPTEMBER 12

THE North East Network (NEN) Nagaland organized a workshop on ‘Locating Women’s Human Rights in International Standards’ for members of NGOs, CBOs, journalists, lawyers and educational institutions engaged in issues of social justice from different parts of the northeast India. The three day workshop which concluded on Thursday here at Hotel Japfü, Kohima, sensitized the participants on the basic concept of human rights, systems of oppression, and the international women’s rights standards with the application of United Nations’ Convention on the Elimination of All Form of Discrimination against women (CEDAW) at local levels.
The workshop was conducted to help participants to understand international Human Rights frameworks and how Human Rights legislation can be used to improve practice using CEDAW as the primary example. How to use national and international human rights instruments such as CEDAW to highlight women related issues and encourage the development of a more enabling public policy.
M.G. Sreekala, an independent consultant and international trainer on Gender and Human Rights, who was the resource person at the programme, highlighted the CEDAW framework and principles and how they could be applied in the local context. CEDAW, being the most accepted and signed UN treaty bodies, is extensively applicable to all its signatory countries which include India.
The three main principles of CEDAW – Equality, Non-Discrimination and State Obligation- dominated the three day training programme, with emphasis on a practical approach to equality between women and men.
Sreekala explained that CEDAW framework and processes can be applied to pressure the governments to take action in neglected areas concerning women’s rights. While dwelling on the principle of equality, she highlighted that the convention obligates governments to base their initiatives for women on the principles of equality of opportunity, results and equality as a legal standard in personal status. She also outlined the various factors that attribute to discrimination of women and State obligations which could be used to reduce such discrimination through the framework of CEDAW by way of intervention in neglected areas concerning women’s rights.
Sreekala, who is also a former executive director of NEN, and is well versed with issues in the northeast region, maintained that CEDAW will be very useful in the context of the region including Nagaland. While pointing out that there are misconceptions about women’s rights in the region wrought by customary practices and laws, she reasoned that CEDAW processes can be applied without infringing on these practices and laws.
She also stressed on the need for more conversations around women’s rights at various levels, from the homes to workplaces and beyond.
Meanwhile, NEN Nagaland programme manager, Wekoweu Tsuhah said that the programme was organized to create awareness among stakeholders and those associated in working with women’s issues and strengthen local capacity in implementation of CEDAW. She said though the CEDAW principles are highly empowering for women, many people remain ignorant of the significance.
Twenty young professionals from diverse backgrounds from various parts of Nagaland, Meghalaya and Assam participated in the training.

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By EMN Updated: Sep 13, 2013 1:04:03 am