‘Not just empowerment; women need to be politically empowered’
Kohima, Feb. 19 (EMN): The advisor to Information and Public Relation, SCERT and Villager Guards, Toshi Wungtung, on Wednesday said that gender issues need to be addressed in Nagaland. He affirmed that he would ultimately follow the policy of addressing issues of both men and women in the house.
He was speaking at the state-level workshop on gender budgeting for gender equality in rural areas held at Ladies common room, Nagaland University, Kohima Campus in Meriema on February 19.
Wungtung said that beyond empowerment, women needed to be politically empowered too, where “we (men) need to partner with women for formulating policies”, citing that Adam and Even were created as partners and “I believe equal partnership of both men and women”.
He expressed his admiration for Naga women’s courage and strength. He stated that India is the largest democracy in the world and “as long as you have voting rights, whether male or female, you are equal before the law”, and women are no lesser in the parliament. “You have equal rights to speak out the political rights”.
He said that in a democratic country, both men and women should come forward and “participate equally”, raising opinions and thoughts as equal partners. “Voting rights is an element of mirror to say that you are equal in all forms whether it is in terms of culture, art, literature or democracy,” he said.
“While talking about gender budgeting, I would like to say that we have to be sustainable in the approach to evaluate and formulate policies in different status in the country,” the advisor said. He added that women had already accumulated the responsibility and accountability from day one, and that the word “responsibility” is a very challenging term.
Wungtung also informed that the government has passed a resolution wherein every department must go to gender budgeting through government notification. “Politically and economically speaking, windows must be opened and space must be given to all men and women equally as equal partners,” he said.
Vice Chancellor of Nagaland University Pardeshi Lal said that when it comes to gender, women from north-eastern states were very lucky but much more needed to be done still. He said that by looking at the grassroots level, corrective measures need to be taken to see that gender mainstreaming occurs. He went on to say that for development of women, education, employment and political share is needed.
The objective of the workshop was to review the rational role of gender budgeting as a tool for gender equality and also to examine the policy initiatives, programmes, schemes and projects for gender mainstreaming and gender inclusive development in India.
The workshop was organised by the National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayat Raj, North Eastern Regional Centre, Ministry of Rural Development in collaboration with Women’s Studies Centre and department of Education Nagaland University and sponsored by central Ministry of Women and Child Development.