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International Women’s Day: Doses of inspiration

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By Reyivolü Rhakho Updated: Mar 07, 2021 11:05 pm
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File photo of women vendors selling vegetables on a rainy day in Kohima. (EM Images)

Reyivolü Rhakho
Kohima, March 7 (EMN): Although there is no need for a specific day to honour and celebrate the achievements of women around the world, International Women’s Day, which is celebrated on March 8, reminds us women deserve honour, respect and equal future free from stigma, stereotypes and violence.

Amid the challenging times, UN Women announced International Women’s Day 2021 as, “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a Covid-19 world”.

It is an opportunity to celebrate women who have provided a guiding light in not only responding to the Covid-19 crisis, but have been coordinators of grassroots social movements.

Eastern Mirror reached out to some women achievers from Nagaland who have carved out a niche in a male dominated workplace and fighting for a sustainable and equitable equal rights for all.

As we read about them, may we be inspired by their messages.

Avino Peseyie

A 54-year-old graduate teacher at Government Higher Secondary School, Chümoukedima, Peseyie was recognised for her contribution towards education and received the district level teacher’s award in 2020 and was a recipient of the Governor’s Award on 72nd Republic Day.

Peseyie, who had been serving as teacher for almost 30 years now said: “Girls have the power to change the world. It is just a fact. Girl’s education not just empowers families but communities and economies. A result of her education we all do better. It’s just as simple as that.”

“The aim of this day is to highlight women’s achievements and promote gender equality. I feel that as a teacher it is our social responsibility to be a voice for the voiceless, for ensuring that there is not even one lost generation as long as we are alive,” she added.

Chekrovolu Swuro

Indian archer, Chekrovolu Swuro, has represented the nation at various international games and the Olympics. She represented India at the 2012 London Olympic Games and is the second Naga athlete after Dr. Talimeren Ao, to participate in the Olympics after a gap of 64 years.

“On this red-letter day, I would like to reaffirm our women to do one simple thing. Let us do away with the thought ‘We, women folks should be a bit more softer and innocent’. This notion has caused us blood and sufferings all the long,” Swuro conveyed.

The archer went on to add that she wants to be “remembered as a heroine who did what people thought I cannot do it because of my gender. Being a woman itself is a blessing in disguise”.

Diethono Nakhro

Nagaland State Commissioner for People with Disabilities (PwDs), Diethono Nakhro, who was also the recipient of prestigious ‘A Kevichusa Citizenship Award (KCA) 2020’ quoted late US Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg who said, ‘women belong in all places where decisions are being made’.

“This, of course, includes women with disabilities. Not being recognised as ‘women’ is among the many challenges that women with disabilities face – society considers them only as ‘disabled’, even the women’s movement”, Nakhro shared. 

She added; “On Women’s Day today, I want to bring focus on the leadership and participation of women with disabilities in all areas of life and not only in disability work. There is this assumption that persons with disabilities can only lead organisations for persons with disabilities. Far from it. The perspective of lived experience is essential to drive change in all areas of life. Women with disabilities in leadership will shape a more equal future and drive progress for everyone”.

Dr. Bernice Dzuvichu

Dzuvichu, joint director, TI, Nagaland State AIDS Control Society, in her message wrote; “On the occasion of the International Women’s Day 2021 on the campaign theme ‘choose to challenge’ I want to salute our Naga women for being courageous, patient, and positive, in every field of life. I feel we Naga women are better placed and fortunate to be living in a caring, protected and loved environment. On this day as we celebrate the International Women’s Day with the rest of the world, let us continue to ‘create and nurture’ the environment of ‘love and respect’ so that the achievements and opportunities of every Naga women continues to grow over generations to come. Happy Women’s Day”.

Dr. Easterine Kire

Dr. Kire is an author, writer and poet from Nagaland. She has received multiple awards for her books besides being awarded the Governor’s Medal for excellence in Naga literature and the Free Voice Award by Catalan PEN Barcelona among others.

 “It is good that we can observe International Women’s Day in Nagaland. It is good for us to remember that other women find the Northeast a safe place to live for a woman. May we work to maintain that by using all the agencies that are responsible for ensuring the safety of women. Simultaneously, may we work just as hard for the safety of every child, and every person, man or woman in our land. It is our communities that have to work towards that goal. May we find strength and wisdom together to ensure that”, Dr Kire conveyed.

Mezivolu T Therieh

The additional registrar of Supreme Court of India, New Delhi, Mezivolu T Therieh, in her message said; “On this International Women’s Day, I would like to encourage all women young and old to ‘choose to challenge’ and come together for a gender equal world which must begin from within each of us. Let us not fear to raise our voice against any type of gender biases”.

Therieh previously served as Chief Judicial Magistrate of Kohima, member-secretary Nagaland State Legal Services Authority, and district and session judge of Phek district. 

Mütsevelü Tetseo

Mütsevelü Tetseo, popularly known as Mercy Tetseo, is a songwriter and singer from Nagaland. She is a member of the quartet folk music band Tetseo Sisters. Tetseo was the recipient of the ‘Woman Super Achiever Award 2020’.

“This women’s day, let’s all work harder to create a world with equal opportunities and more inclusion for both genders. Empowered women build a stronger world and we need to empower and take steps for a stronger world immediately”, she wrote.

Tokheli Kikon

The first woman village council chairman in Nagaland, Tokheli Kikon, the 62-years-old is still serving as chairperson of the Naharbari Village Council, Dimapur since 2005. Kikon in her message shared that she “just wants to be remembered as a good human being”.

“Nagas must involve their women in decision making for an inclusive society. As we enter into a new era of peace and political arrangement, Naga men both young and old must honour and acknowledge the role and importance of Naga women. We cannot let traditional mindset be an obstacle to a more progressive egalitarian society. On this international women’s day, let us all celebrate and appreciate women and their contribution. Happy Women’s Day”, Kikon said.

Yangerla Jamir

Jamir is currently the president of North East Women Entrepreneur Association, Nagaland chapter; CEO of Native Products Cooperative Society Ltd; proprietor of M/s Native Beads; and founder of Mind Blowers Club. She has also received the North East Women Entrepreneur’s Award 2019 along with another entrepreneur from Nagaland, Takochila Walu.

In her message, she said that ‘women are a personification of love, resilience, strength, and beauty’. “Today the role of women in societies, educational aspects, business etc., is rising especially the role of women as business owners is gradually increasing all over the world. Even in Nagaland, one can see a lot of successful women entrepreneurs growing.

“Indeed I feel that our Naga women are not less than to be called strong woman equipped with powerful mind. We see lots of women entrepreneurs coming up successfully day-by-day as one or the other enterprise own by a woman is always launched or inaugurated. Women entrepreneurship development is the instrument of women empowerment. Empowerment leads to self-fulfilment and women become aware of where they are going, what the position in the society, their status, existence and rights. Today women are becoming more empowered personally and economically through entrepreneurship”, Jamir said.

“On this historical day, let us celebrate the achievement of women all across and band together to fight for the gender parity and women’s rights. Happy Women’s Day to all the strong woman. Let’s all raise together, work hand to hand, voice out together and walk in the line of goals and hopes that one day sooner gender equality will be in every mind and soul with action”, she conveyed in her message on the occasion.

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By Reyivolü Rhakho Updated: Mar 07, 2021 11:05:51 pm