Leader Writer: Ksh. Sopen
International Women’s Day is celebrated across the globe on March 8 since 1911. United Nations recognised this women’s day in 1975. Celebrating worldwide with an annual theme. It started from 1996 and Inspiring Change is the 2014 theme. And women`s equality has gained momentum ever since but the world is still imbalance while it advocates for social, political and economic achievements of women. It calls for women`s equality.
The movement for women’s equality and empowerment has a history. Centuries ago, women were not allowed to exercise universal adult franchise and also access to education thereby making them lacking far behind from their male counterpart. In such time, woman of the world begun aware and became enlightened when they read the book A Vindication of the Rights of Woman written by Marry Wollstonecraft published in 1792. In her book, Wollstonecraft preached that intellect will always govern and sought “to persuade women to endeavour to acquire strength, both of mind and body, and to convince them that the soft phrases, susceptibility of heart, delicacy of sentiment, and refinement of taste, are almost synonymous with epithets of weakness.”
In Manipur, the status of the women were far below with their male counterpart which can be justified in the local parlance ‘nupadi taragi mapuni’ (a man is allowed to possess ten wives), and also the renown poet Ashangbam Minaketan stated in his essay that ‘sangol sanna heinam leinam chellamba thoklaba, nupi oibi shageina mangchop phida phamba wana thoklamgani’ (had the cows have flowery smell, then the womenfolk might have faced difficulty in finding a place in the society) while the present day status of women can be accessed through news report of crimes against women published in the local dailies. It is not an exaggeration that the news of woman molestation, rape, murder or hanging happened every alternate days in Manipur despite uproar against such activities from various women organisations and meira paibies. The latest one is the hanging of Sapam Ningol Ichal Devi, 17, who was recently married to Mopi Maring from Kakching. The news of it is published on March 8 with the news of International Women’s Day.
The discussion for 33% woman reservation for the state assemblies and parliamentary seats could not be arrived at consensus 33% woman reservation was implemented in Panchayat Raj Institution, however, there is report of functioning the office of elected woman Zilla Parishad members, Pradhans etc by their husbands. This is not a healthy practice and this practice should come to an end. Displaying such practice of dummy elected women, DDK Imphal telecast a tele play.
On the contrary, Tulsipriya Rajkumari from Haobam Marak Chingtham Leikai got second rank in the result of the Indian Economic Services/Indian Statistical Service conducted by the Union Public Service Commission. There is also discussion of gender budgeting in the country. If such gender budgeting is operational, we hope there will be new vistas for women to scale greater heights. And let it inspire change.