The second review meeting on the Socio-economic and Political Empowerment of Women in North Eastern States was held at the conference hall of Chintan Bhawan here on Tuesday.
The meeting was jointly organised by the National Commission for Women (NCW) is association with Sikkim State Commission for Women (SSCW).
The meeting, chaired by the National Commission for Women Chairperson, Rekha Sharma, was attended by the Member of Parliament Lok Sabha, PD Rai as the Chief Guest.
The meeting was attended by representatives from the Women Commission and Social Justice Departments of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Manipur and Sikkim.
The meeting thoroughly deliberated on various women related schemes of the State Governments and discussed that how these schemes can be implemented in the close coordination with the respective State Women Commissions.
In his address, MP Rai congratulated the NCW for coming out with the Study Report on the status of empowerment of women in the North Eastern States and recommendations thereof.
He expressed that the NCW has been doing its best to align each of the States in one common ground to ensure that they grow collectively. He suggested that the Study Report prepared by the Commission should also incorporate Sustainable Development Goals, more specifically goal No 5 which pertains to gender equality.
Rai shared that Sikkim has peace and security and all round development which has happened through good governance and consistent leadership. He spoke about schemes, programmes and unique initiatives of the State Government for the empowerment and welfare of women in the State.
On the issue of declining total fertility rate in Sikkim, Rai appealed to the NCW Chairperson to provide suggestions and studies as a solution to this challenge.
Also read: National Commission for Women chief calls on Sikkim CM
Speaking on the need to encourage women towards tourism and hospitality sector, Rai suggested that an entrepreneurship or start up exercise for the entire Northeastern States on a common platform can be organised to get maximum participation and accelerate the process of women empowerment.
NCW Chairperson Sharma spoke about her observations about the status of socio-economic and political developments of women in the Northeastern States. She suggested that women in the Northeastern States should be encouraged to participate and contribute in the tourism and hospitality sector.
She shared that the National Commission for Women will lend the required support to facilitate capacity building programmes in this area.
NCW Member Alok Rawat lauded the women empowerment schemes and initiatives of Sikkim government.
In her welcome address, Sikkim State Commission for Women Chairperson Rehna Rai highlighted the unique initiatives of the State Government for the empowerment of women.
Likewise, Secretary to Social Justice Empowerment & Welfare Department, Sarala Rai shared the various good practices and schemes for Women being implemented by the Social Justice Department of the State Government.
Earlier, Member Secretary of Sikkim State Commission for Women, Yousha Lachenpa gave a brief background of the 1st review meeting held in 2017 at Shillong in Meghalaya.
During the meeting, representatives of the participating State made a brief presentation on the action taken and way forward and shared the innovative programs and schemes implemented in their respective States.
Addressing a press conference after the meeting, NCW Chairperson Rekha Sharma stated that the NCW has the separate cell for the Northeastern States.
She informed that the meeting at Gangtok was the follow-up of the last meeting held in Meghalaya. She mentioned that every State has different kind of problems and issues related to women.
However, Sharma mentioned that the Northeastern women are more empowered than other parts of the country but still there is more to work for the development of the women in the region.
She mentioned that another objective to organise this meeting at Gangtok was to witness and replicate the exemplary and innovative initiatives taken by Sikkim.
While giving the example of Organic Mission started by Sikkim, she mentioned representatives of other States in this meeting can take such initiative to their respective State and convince their policymakers to start such initiatives.
While mentioning about the rich handicraft and handlooms of north-eastern States, the NCW Chairperson shared that NCW has been planning to start exhibition of handicrafts and handlooms of the region in different States and also in the national level.
The NCW chief also mentioned that the Commission has decided to involve women in tourism and encourage them to contribute in this sector. On the same, she informed that the commission would take this issue to the concerned Ministries to train women in the hospitality sector.
Sharma mentioned that the NCW has also taken the issue of declining fertility rate of Sikkim seriously to address this issue. She mentioned to engage a NGO to study this issue and to give its findings and suggestions to the Commission. She further mentioned about the various programmes and initiatives of the NCW for the protection, upliftment and welfare of women section in the country.