|05 February 2007|
Press Release No. 65/07
MEGHALAYA GOVERNOR INAUGURATES 2-DAY WORKSHOP ON STRENGTHENING OF STATE WOMEN'S COMMISSION
“The Government of India has shown deep interest to enhance the position of women and bring about women empowerment by constituting the National Commission and State Commissions for Women in the country”, said the Meghalaya Governor, Mr. M M Jacob at the inaugural function of the two day workshop on strengthening of the State Women Commissions organized by the National Commission for Women (NCW), Government of India at Hotel Polo Towers, Shillong today. The inaugural function was also attended by Meghalaya Chief Minister, Mr. J D Rymbai, Chairperson of NCW, Dr. Girija Vyas, Chairperson of Meghalaya State Commission for Women, Dr. B Lyndem and participants from the different Northeastern States and West Bengal.
In his inaugural speech, Mr. Jacob hopes that the workshop will take up issues relating to the North East India and Meghalaya in particular during the workshop. He said that though Indian women have inherited tradition, respect and glory over the centuries, the backlog of social inhibition awaits to be cleared to enable women to enjoy freedom and equality. The socio-economic and political inequalities between women and men needs to be understood and strategies properly assessed and evolved to make the relationship between the sexes equitable and just, he added.
Mr. Jacob also said that to prevent crime against women and to eliminate discrimination, the literacy rate will need to be increased, adding that the average literacy rate of men is around 65p.c. and of women around 40p.c. He further said that unless women become more literate and economically independent, the discrimination and violence against them will continue. He also lamented that violence against women is endemic, as can be seen from the fact that molestation takes places in every 26 minutes, rape takes place in every 54 minutes, eve teasing in every 50 minutes and dowry death in every 16 hours. He also stated that Indian women are regarded as bridges between tradition and modernity, and they must adapt and adopt the best wherever it is found and be guiding lights to their families and society. He said that the role of women themselves will continue to be crucial in all efforts to improve their status and to ensure women to have access to all opportunities and to emphasize mainstreaming of gender concern in all development activities.
Mr. J D Rymbai in his speech as the guest of honour said that development of women constitutes a vital component of the country’s human resource development, adding that Meghalaya is the only State in the whole country where matrilineal system is still prevailing where women enjoy a better status compared to women in other parts of the country. He also said that women in Meghalaya participate actively in fighting against many social evils such as drug addiction and alcoholism.
He informed that the Meghalaya State Commission for Women was set up on 27th October 2004 and the Meghalaya State Commission for Women Act 2005 was notified on May 2nd 2005 with an aim to take up different activities for the welfare and protection of women’s right in the State especially those who are in the rural areas. He further added that with the initiatives taken by the Meghalaya State Commission for Women in networking with all the active NGOs across the State and coordinating with the State Government and Community at large, many programmes have been organized in the urban and rural areas making women aware of their rights, and they are now voluntarily approaching the Government and other legal agencies for their grievances. He also informed that the Government has several schemes for women which are implemented by different Departments.
Others who spoke on the occasion were Chairperson of National Commission for Women, Dr. Girija Vyas, Chairperson of Meghalaya Commission for Women, Dr. Biloris Lyndem and Mrs. N Konwar, Member, National Commission for Women.