2nd review meet on women's empowerment in NE States held at Chintan Bhawan

Gangtok, 24 Apr [IPR]: The second review meeting to deliberate on the socio economic and political empowerment of women in North Eastern States, organised by the National Commission for Women [NCW] in association with Sikkim State Commission for Women [SSCW], was held at the conference hall of Chintan Bhawan today.

Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha [Sikkim], PD Rai, attended the programme as chief guest while Chairperson of NCW, Rekha Sharma, presided over the meeting in the presence of representatives from the Women Commission and Social Justice Departments of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Manipur and Sikkim. The meeting was also attended by Member, NCW, Alok Rawat, along with Chairpersons of the Women Commissions of the participating States.

The meeting deliberated in detail the various women related schemes of the state governments and how they can best be implemented in close coordination with the respective State Women Commissions.

Member, NCW, Mr Rawat, in his address, shared experiences from his tenure as an IAS officer of the Sikkim Cadre for 38 years. He expressed his gratitude to the State of Sikkim for the valuable learnings and lauded the women empowerment schemes and initiatives in the State.

Chairperson, NCW, Ms Sharma, expressed happiness at the positive developments in women's empowerment through a series of meetings with the NE States. Going through the various commitments made by each State in the previous meetings, she reviewed the action taken report of each State. She shared her observations about the status of socio economic and political developments of women in the NE States.

She further suggested that women in the NE States should be encouraged to participate and contribute in the tourism and hospitality sectors. She shared that the NCW will lend the required support to facilitate capacity building programmes in this area.

Speaking on the occasion, MP, Lok Sabha, Mr Rai, congratulated the NCW for coming up with the Study Report on the status of empowerment of women in the NE States and recommendations thereof.

“The NCW is doing their best to align each of the States on one common ground to ensure that they grow collectively,” he stated.

“At the National level, we often come across incidents of heinous crimes against women and girl children to the extent that an ordinance had to be brought out by the Central Government. We have to create an environment to deal with such incidents and create a peaceful environment,” he added.

He suggested that the Study Report prepared by the Commission should also incorporate Sustainable Development Goals, more specifically goal no. 5 which pertains to gender equality.

“In Sikkim there is a sense of peace and security and all round development which has happened through good governance and consistent leadership. The schemes and programmes and unique initiatives of the state government to bring about women'd empowerment have not happened overnight but through a long and arduous process, strong political will and translation of policies into action,” said Mr Rai.

Touching upon the issue of declining total fertility rate in Sikkim, he appealed to the Chairperson, NCW to provide suggestions and studies as a solution to this challenge.

Speaking on the need to encourage women towards tourism and hospitality sector, he suggested that an entrepreneurship or start up exercise for the entire NE States on a common platform can be organised to get maximum participation and accelerate the process of women's empowerment.

Chairperson, SSCW, Rehna Rai, highlighted the unique initiatives of the state government for the empowerment of women while Secretary, Social Justice, Empowerment & Welfare Department, Government of Sikkim, Sarala Rai, shared the various good practices and schemes for women being implemented by the Social Justice Department of the state government.

Earlier, Member Secretary, SSCW, Yousha Lachenpa, gave a brief background of the 1st Review Meeting held in 2017 in Shillong, Meghalaya. She informed about the Study Report on the Social Economic and Political Empowerment of Women in the NE States compiled in the year 2016. Today’s meeting, she informed, was a follow up of the previous meeting and an effort to revisit the Study Report and provide necessary inputs to strengthen it.

Each participating State made brief presentations on the action taken and way forward and shared the innovative programmes and schemes implemented in the respective States.