Nagaland: ‘Women should be given equal partnership and participation’

Ruzazho womens’ group presenting a folk song during the International Day of Rural Women pre-event at Women Resource Centre, Runguzu Nasa on October 13. SEWA Shakti Kendra

Ruzazho womens’ group presenting a folk song during the International Day of Rural Women pre-event at Women Resource Centre, Runguzu Nasa on October 13. SEWA Shakti Kendra

Phek, October 14 (MExN): ‘Women, who constitute major percentage of the population, should be given equal partnership and participation in all spheres of life including local administration.’ Speaking at the International Day of Rural Women pre-event, EAC Chozuba, Sangpachang Longkumer asserted this while adding ‘Holistic development and gender equality discussions should not just be limited to theory but put into practice.’

The event was organised by North East Network (NEN) in collaboration with SEWA Shakti Kendra (SSK), Pfutsero at Women Resource Centre (WRC), Runguzu Nasa under Chozuba sub-division in Phek district on October 13, stated a press release. 

The EAC Chozuba maintained that the International Day of Rural Women (October 15) is an ardent call to appreciate and acknowledge the immense contribution of women especially in the rural areas. He called upon the civil societies, village bodies, NGOs and churches to come together and collectively work for the upliftment of women. 

NEN State Coordinator, Wekoweu Tsuhah in her welcome address said that the traditional knowledge of food, healing systems, foraging of plants, weaving and others are all carried out by rural women which are all not recognised when in effect they are very important roles. She called upon the gathering to recognise and acknowledge the contributions of women in the society by ways of sharing care work and domestic work and not relegate it to a specific gender. 

Tsuhah also maintained that community participation should be relooked and to acknowledge women’s role in decision making. She called upon the village councils to allow women to be a part of their decision making mechanisms. She maintained that resources such as training, information and skills should be made accessible to women. She stressed on the need to create an enabling environment for women to avail such opportunities. 

Assistant Director, Women Resource Development, T Thungbemo Patton asserted that the department is committed to see the socio-economic upliftment of the women in the state and that the department is working in every possible way to make that happen. He called upon all the state development partners to provide opportunities in every way.

Patton shared that India is a land of rural country and that Nagaland being a rural state, unless rural women’s contribution is recognized, all round development cannot even be dreamt. ‘Unless women’s contribution is recognised; development cannot come to the state,’ Patton affirmed while adding, “Without a change of mindset, there can be no development.”

The technical sessions were facilitated by representatives from District Industries Centre, Chozuba by Kezhaletuo, Dr Hannah, SMS, Agronomy from Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Phek, Neiweu Dozo from Sewa Shakti Kendra, Pfutsero, Leginino Yhoshü from Agriculture Technology Management Agency, Phek, and Dr Kotso Kapfo, Medical Officer, Community Health Centre, Chozuba.

Dr Hannah highlighted the significance of foxtail millets for food, nutrition, livelihoods and climate resilience, and encouraged the farmers to adopt millet crops. Leginino focused on the impact of women in agriculture, and encouraged the farmers to adopt agricultural practices that enhance productivity. She said that women farmers skills and knowledge development, access to resources such as tools, technology, and credit, and encouraged collective actions. Official from DIC highlighted the numerous schemes and facilities for artisans and weavers.

Dr Kotso Kapfo shared aspects of health and the need to take care of one’s body. He underlined health issues such as Hypertension, Diabetic, Scrub Thyphus, Dengue, Cancer and HIV commonly prevalent in the Chozuba area. The Doctor reminded the gathering that it is always important to take care of one’s health and to be proactive in reaching out to health professionals and not wait till the last moment.

Nukholo Swuro, Associate Project Lead NEN, chaired the programme and Dieze Khamo, Programme Associate gave the vote of thanks. The event also saw sales and exhibition cum demonstration from SEWA Dukaan (Kohima), Bamboo Youth (Thürütsüswü), Pottery (Runguzu), Nenterprise -Chizami Weaves, Krishi Vigyan Kendra (Phek), and Yoruba Cotton group.