International Women’s Day 2020: ‘Teach your sons and daughters to cook and clean the household’
Kohima, March 6 (EMN): When the sun rises and its rays touch the earth, it neither touches men nor women first but reaches to all equally; and when nature itself does not discriminate or stereotype anyone, humans who have the fullest mental abilities to think, dream and rule, continue to differentiate and give biased opinions on the gender and discriminate, Rhilo Mero, president of Nagaland University Students’ Union, said on Friday.
Mero was speaking during the International Women’s Day celebration at Nagaland University (NU), Meriema on the theme “I am Generating Equality: Securing Women’s Rights. #EachforEqual”. It was organised by Women’s Studies Centre, NU.
International Women’s Day is celebrated every year on March 8, calling for gender equality and women’s rights.
“Only if we all, individually, learn to treat each other as one, will we move forward to a more stable, healthier and a richer world,” he stated, adding ‘how great it would be if the world is no longer governed by the gender-stereotyped laws or principles; if everyone could pursue the same ambitions and dreams without any borders; and if everyone do their bit to bring about gender equality’.
‘We as educated people need to give our sons and daughters the opportunity to cook and clean the household,’ he said, citing how the mothers need to teach their sons to cook and clean and the fathers to teach their daughters to use the computers. “Equal job opportunities should be given to both the genders, to earn and feed themselves,” he commented.
“… it is sad to say that not a single country can claim to have achieved gender equality” — M Aleminla Ao
Speaking about political life, he shared that the society needs women political leaders as they “will make the best kind of people to debate in the assemblies while fighting for our rights and causes”. He opined that ‘we need to see more men in management area and more women in the political spheres’.
Citing how he never felt isolated for once or discriminated in a classroom with 90 per cent ladies, he said “that is a good sign of how the future would be to have more women leaders in the country and our state where we will be able to choose a ‘deserving female candidate over a non-deserving male candidate.”
He mentioned that there are several stereotypes but instead of always aiming at removing such stereotypes in the society, one should step into the shoes of the opposite genders and learn something from of it. ‘The society will have to go a long way if we keep pointing fingers instead of finding solutions, and sometimes solution lies in the problem itself but we fail to see it from a different perspective,’ he reminded.
Pro Vice Chancellor of NU M Aleminla Ao said at the event that women and girls continue to be undervalued in many parts of the world as many obstacles remain unchanged in law and in culture. “Despite some progress, real change has been slow for majority of women and girls in the world and it is sad to say that not a single country can claim to have achieved gender equality,” she lamented.
She said that millions of women across the world are not able to fulfil their dreams due to social, economic, ethical and political barriers, and that it is time to realise how far women have come and what steps and actions are still needed to be taken to break down the barriers. Le’s affirm to endeavour in building a better world where all generations live harmoniously, free from violence and discrimination; where all people have equal rights and opportunities regardless of gender with equal share of chores at home, equal representatives in political offices, and equal in decision-making bodies, she advised.
Women’s day is also a reminder of women’s continuing struggle for equality, the discrimination we still face and the struggle for inclusion in the highest decision-making bodies, stated Lungsang Zeliang, professor at NU.
She encouraged the students to be instruments in removing the systemic barriers that hold back women from full participation in private as well as public domains and asserted that more than ever, there’s an urgent need to accelerate gender equality.
“It is time to challenge stereotypes and take action for equality”, she said. Speaking of the theme “each for equal”, she said it is a call for collective action by each individual and as a collective whole; and that everyone can contribute to bringing about change in the mindset of the society.
She challenged the gathering to join hands for creating an equal and enabled world, saying that “it is a shared responsibility”.
State Resource Centre for Women
The State Resource Centre for Women (SRCW) of Mahila Shakti Kendra (the erstwhile National Mission for Empowerment of Women) stated through a press release that International Women’s Day is observed to “strengthen our commitment, to mobilise and to reflect on what needs to be done to create a gender equal world”.
It said the “Generation Equality” campaign, the event’s theme for this year, is not demanding any outstanding treatment for women but “for fairness in the form of equal pay, equal sharing of unpaid care and domestic work, an end to sexual harassment and all forms of violence against women and girls, healthcare services that respond to their needs, and their equal participation in political life, and decision-making in all areas of life; in essence, equal opportunities, incentives, encouragement, appreciation and to feel safe anywhere and everywhere”.
It also stressed on the need to review the 12 key areas, including education, health, violence against women, and decision making that were highlighted at the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (1995) some 25 years ago.
“Some of the key challenges are the lack of women in politics and decision making processes; the issue of 33% reservation for women reflects some of the core problems of gender inequality in Nagaland; and violence against women, which is often not spoken about, is on the rise in our state,” the statement read.
“Even though as per the National Crime Records Bureau’s (NCRB) report, Nagaland ranks among the lowest when it comes to the number of crimes against women, the 181-Women Helpline Nagaland and the Sakhi-One Stop Centres have received over 450 cases of violence against women since its inception. And the unfortunate reality is that women are hesitant to report. Our goal therefore, is to progress through changing the patriarchal mindset of our society,” it added.
The SRCW went on to state that “each and every individual possesses the power to create a gender equal world” and called on the people to “put our thoughts into action, be it in our homes, our workplace, our neighbourhood, and our society”. It also lauded all the women who are breaking barriers and stereotypes, and have made their mark in contributing towards gender equality as well as government departments, district administrations, NGOs, and organisations, who celebrate this special event.
Cornerstone institute along with the management and chairman Dr. Sashimeren Aier observed International Women’s Day in collaboration with Community Health Initiative on March 6 by conducting seminar-cum-workshop.
An update informed that a sanitary pads vending machine was installed in the campus of Cornerstone College to mark the day so that students can avail it at a reasonable price of INR 5. ‘Biodegradable Sanitary Anion Napkin Pads’ was also launched at the event which was participated by around 500 students.
Director Loreni Sophia (CHI) spoke on female hygiene, reproductive health and proper disposal of the sanitary pads at the workshop.
ICFAI University Nagaland
ICFAI University Nagaland celebrated Women’s Day on March 6 with students enacting a drama based on this year’s theme. An update from the institute informed that the event saw “poetry performance” followed by a panel discussion. It added that MA English 4th semester students initiated the programme.
J N Aier College
The Red Ribbon Club (RRC) in collaboration with IQAC of J N Aier College observed International Women’s Day at the college premises on Friday. An update from the college informed that assistant professor of Education department Keleseno exposed the theme of this year’s celebration and nodal officer of RRC Khenili Kiho spoke on the status of women and the violence against women in Nagaland and how women have been deprived of chance in decision making bodies. The male students and staff also undertook a pledge, vowing to respect and treat women as equals and say ‘No’ to violence against women.
Modern Institute of Teacher Education
Modern Institute of Teacher Education (MITE) in Kohima observed International Women’s Day on March 6, according to a press release from the principal of the institute, Dr. Devanand Sinha. Speaking on behalf of the faculty, Sinha said that ‘women are not only equal but greater than men in many respect; for instance, a working woman can do household work, raise children and do their duties at work place perfectly, which a man can hardly do’. He also urged the gathering to fight against gender bias and work towards equality.
Modern College, Kohima
Modern College, Kohima conducted a one-day national seminar-cum-celebration of International Women’s Day on Friday, highlighting this year’s theme and the role everyone should play to create a gender-equal world.
An update from the college informed that four presenters namely Dr. Ningthoujam Somola Devi, assistant professor, Naorem Birahari College, Manipur University; Dr. Khobu Tsolo, assistant professor, St. Joseph’s College (Autonomous) Jakhama; Dr. Chinpai Lily, assistant professor, Mt. Pisgah College, Senapati, Manipur University; and Dr. Daili Kholia, assistant professor, Modern College, Kohima, Nagaland University, spoke on various topics like “breaking gender stereotypes, celebrate women’s achievement, raise awareness against bias and take action against inequality”.
The event also witnessed the launch of Gender Champion Club with assistant professor Nukchala as nodal officer and 35 students as members.