STAFF REPORTER/DIPR IMPHAL, 8th Mar: Hailing Manipuri women for their achievements in diverse fields and constantly showcasing their capabilities at different levels, Governor Dr Najma Heptulla has said that the success of Manipuri women is testimony about the respect accorded to them by the society.
Speaking as chief guest during celebration of International Women’s Day on Thursday at Raj Bhavan’s Durbar Hall, the Governor opined that giving respect to the women is most essential criteria for their social and economic empowerment.
The northeast women, especially Manipuri women, are very much empowered compared to women in rest of the country, she said and highlighted that better placement of Manipuri women in the social strata is the fruit of being part of a more liberal society and facing less hostile challenges unlike in a male dominant environment.
Describing Manipuri women as gutsy, hardworking and responsible, she expressed that women need no adulation or pleading for improvement of social status as their valour, actions and determination will determine elevation of their position.
Dr Heptulla expressed elation that her proposal for reserving 33 per cent seats for women in decision making bodies when she was a parliamentarian in 1997 has reap fruit in the form of earmarking the said percentage in local bodies.
She also stated that such changes is sign about wider acknowledgement about the role being played by the women in different fields.
Further stating that she is taking initiatives for making women sufficiently skilled for earning a certain quantum of economic independence, the Governor lauded the various civil societies and women’s organisations in the state for their relentless efforts in fighting against anti-social elements.
She also called upon all women to contemplate on what they can do for the development of the state.
Highlighting the achievements of sportspersons like Mirabai Chanu and Mary Kom, she said that women of Manipur are leading in all spheres and have earned recognitions at the national and international levels, be it in sports or in any other fields or professions.
“They (women) have had more economic independence and are even supporting the family without any help from the male members,” the Governor observed and cited women vendors of Ima Keithel as a clear example of the economic independence of Manipuri women.
As the functional president, Social Welfare and Cooperation Minister Nemcha Kipgen, while explaining the essence of the celebration theme “Time is Now: Rural and Urban Activists Transforming Women’s Lives”, said that women should be empowered in all settings, rural and urban.
While observing that activists who are working tirelessly to claim women’s rights and help them realise their full potential deserved to be supported, minister Nemcha reminded the gathering that the objective of celebrating the international women’s day is to empower the women who have gone through a number of hurdles all through their life be it in social, political, religious and cultural sectors.
As the celebration gives emphasis for ‘gender equality’, empowering women is equally essential for materialisation of gender equality, she added.
Nemcha also urged women to identify their strengths and abilities, and move towards a world of empowerment and contribute equally for the betterment of the society.
As part of the celebration, 16 elderly and successful women from different parts of the state were honoured with presentation of gifts and citations.
Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Karam Shyam; chairperson of Manipur State Women Development Cooperation, Samurailatpam Satyabhama Devi, commissioner (Social Welfare) H Deleep Singh; director (Social Welfare) Jacintha Lazarus; women achievers from different parts of the state and top officials also attended the function.
The District Legal Services Authority, Imphal West in co-ordination with Legal Aid Clinic, Manipur Central Jail, also celebrated International Women’s Day at Manipur Central Jail, Imphal with the women inmates.
Among others, the function was attended by District & Sessions Judge (Imphal West) M Manojkumar Singh, District & Sessions Judge (Senapati) A Noutuneshwari Devi, Chief Judicial Magistrate (Imphal West) Lamkhanpau Tonsing and Superintendent of Manipur Central Jail A Kunjakeshore Singh. Interactions and sharing on legal aspects were main highlights of the celebration.
The international event was also organised at the office of the Lady Bar, Cheirap Court by All Manipur Lady Advocates’ Association.
International Women’s Day was also celebrated under the joint aegis of All India Trade Union Congress Manipur and All Manipur Nupi Marup at Manipur Press Club.
The celebration was attended by Working Women’ Forum Manipur president Prof Bedamani Devi, All Manipur Nupi Marup president M Sakhi Devi, All Manipur ASHA Workers’ Union general secretary Ak Thoibi Devi, Anganwadi Workers and Helpers' Union Manipur president I Sanatombi, Roadside Vendors’ Welfare Association president Kshetri Tama Devi and Mid-Day Meal Workers’ Union Manipur president Y Indrani Devi as presidium members. AITUC Manipur president Dr M Nara, social scientist Dhanabir Laishram and Manipur University Prof Dr Chinglen Maisnam were also present as resource persons.
The Day was also organised jointly by Socialists’ Students’ Union of Manipur (SSUM) and Manipur Proletariat People’s Democratic Union at Manipur Press Club.
The function was attended by Sanaleibak daily editor H Achouba Sharma, Imphal Times daily editor Rinku Khumukcham, LMS Law College lecturer Dr Sapam Dilip, EEVFAM general secretary Edina Yengkhom and International Women’s Day Observation Committee convener Nongthombam Sarjubala as presidium members.
Under the theme of “Time is Now: Rural and Urban activists transforming women’s lives”, International Women’s Day was celebrated at the Women Facility Centre of Manipur University (MU). The function was organised jointly by Manipur University Working Women Association (MUWWA) and Women’s Studies Centre, MU. A technical session on “Women as Agents of Change” was also conducted.
MU vice-chancellor Professor Aday Prasad Pandey, head of Department of English, DM College of Arts Dr Ch Sheelaramani and vice – president of MUWWA Salam Subhashini Devi were respectively chief guest, guest of honour and functional president.
In commemoration of International Women’s Day, Khuga Bn gifted four sewing machines to women of Zoukhunou village on Thursday.
A lecture programme on job avenues, importance of Aadhaar and PAN card as well as on how to upkeep health and hygiene during upcoming monsoon season was also conducted, a release of PIB (DW) informed.