Hopes pinned on new govt

Participants in the rally in Shillong on Thursday. Picture by Banbitlang Marbaniang

Shillong: The Manbha Foundation has urged the new Meghalaya government to address various women-related issues and come up with policies that will empower them.

"We appeal to the government to take up issues with regard to crime against women, to improve their economic status through various schemes, give financial aid to set up micro-businesses, especially for women in rural areas, and promote skill development," Rica Lamar, secretary, Manbha Foundation, told The Telegraph as part of International Women's Day celebrations here on Thursday.

The foundation, which has been working tirelessly towards the welfare, progress, and rights of marginalised women, along with the Youth Red Cross of St Mary's College, organised a rally, March Forward - Press for Progress to showcase the work of women, call for gender parity and other women-related issues.

Lamar also expressed hope that more schemes would be created by the new government which will further improve the economic status of single mothers in the state. "Development of the state means development of women," she said.

Lamar pointed out that though Meghalaya has been known for its matrilineal society, where women are supposed to enjoy an exalted status, yet women in the state face problems of inequality in terms of wages, work, political representation, among others.

"We also see that women do not have reproductive rights. Their rights are very much suppressed and are exposed to violence and crimes," said the secretary, adding, "We are hopeful that the new government will take up the issues of the women in our state."

Stressing on the need for advocacy, activism and support which Lamar feels is lacking in the state, she said women should come together along with men to be able to go into strong advocacy, activism and support for their rights.

Lamar also appealed to new government for legislators with good values, and not for legislators that brings shame to society, and the state as a whole.

"We have had so many crimes committed in our state. There has been a rise in the number of crimes yet there seems to be a complacency from the government's side earlier on," she added.

The Meghalaya State Commission for Women has registered 152 cases from April 2016 to March 2017.

The number of hearings conducted is 25, number of cases solved 39, number of cases under process 44, and number of cases forwarded to the authorities is 69.


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