Nagalim: Naga Women Should Make Themselves Visible
A landmark day for all women around the world, this March 8, 2010 is exceedingly significant because it’s the 100th International Women’s Day. In Nagaland too, there are intensive preparations to mark this special day by schools, district hospitals, cultural societies and organisations.
A tireless advocate for women’s rights especially Naga women; expert Member of the National Women Commission Rosemary Dzuvichu lamented the condition of Naga women in the society. “We have a society that is not gender friendly” she said while expressing disappointment that in Naga society there is high rise in crime and the abhorrence by many people at the idea of Naga women participating in decision making bodies and asked “what’s really there to celebrate.” Still, she felt that all Naga women are looking for change. It’s going to be a hard task for people working for gender equity, she said especially referring to customary laws. A special message she sends to all Naga women was “keep on struggling in unity and commitment. Remember, there are a large number of Naga women living in rural areas and we need to be their voice.”
Chairperson for Nagaland State Commission for women, Sano Vamuzo is also to grace as chief guest in the observance of International Women’s Day in Nagaland to be held at Kohima. It was informed that 1092 helpline, a multi agency response for women facing violence at home will be launched at this programme. Loreni, a student expressed that Naga women need to celebrate this day with seriousness and not view it as a celebration as we have hidden issues of inequality for women in Nagaland. “I would like to see rallies, seminars and serious debates on this day. All Naga women should make themselves blatantly visible on March 8 every year” she stated.
This years’ theme for the United Nations is: Equal rights, equal opportunities: Progress for all. Meanwhile singularly, the symbolism of this day has a wider meaning. It is an occasion for every single woman in this world to look back at the years of struggle, striving for peace, equality and development.
Many women activist also felt that this day was a perfect opportunity to unite, network and mobilize for a meaningful change. Also organisations, governments and women’s groups around the world choose different themes each year that reflect global and local gender issues.
The Prime Minister of India Manmohan Singh just a day earlier re-iterated his commitment to women’s empowerment and stated that Government is moving towards providing one-third reservation for women which has been ‘hanging’ for the last 15 years, in the Lok Sabha and state legislatures and is bringing the bill in the Rajya Sabha for consideration and passing on March 8 to coincide with the International Women’s Day. If the bill passes through, it will make the day more special for all women in India.