16 women felicitated in Imphal

Imphal: Sixteen women, each from all 16 districts of Manipur, were honoured at an event on International Women's Day on Thursday.

The programme, held at the Durbar Hall of Raj Bhavan here, was based on the theme "Time is Now: Rural and Urban Activists Transforming Women's Lives".

Governor Najma Heptulla said Manipuri women are better empowered than their counterparts in the rest of the country.

"Women in the Northeast have grown up in a more liberal society, facing less hostile challenges unlike in a male dominant environment in other parts of the country," the governor said.

Heptulla said she is taking initiatives to make women sufficiently skilled so that they can enjoy economic independence. She lauded various civil society organisations for their efforts in fighting societal prejudices against women. The governor urged the gathering to ponder on what they can do more for development women in Manipur.

She said the women of the state are leading in all spheres. They have earned recognitions both at the national and international levels, be it sports or in any other field or profession, she added. Heptulla highlighted the achievements of weightlifter Mirabai Chanu and boxer Mary Kom.

"Manipur women have had more economic independence. They can even support their families without taking the male members' help," she said. She cited the example of Ima Keithel of women's economic independence in Manipur.

Social welfare and cooperation minister Nemcha Kipgen said, "Women should be empowered in all settings, be it rural or urban. We should celebrate the efforts of activists, who are working tirelessly to claim women's rights. The agenda behind celebrating this day is to empower women. This also calls for gender equality."

Minister of consumer affairs, food and public distribution Karam Shyam, and chairperson of the Manipur State Women Development Cooperation Samurailatpam Satyabhama Devi graced the occasion as special guest and guest of honour respectively.

Manipur BJP Mahila Morcha also observed the day at Manipur Film Development Council hall. The All Manipur Women's Voluntary Association also organised an event on the theme, Let Us Carry the Struggle Forward, at Gandhi Memorial hall.


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