TODAY -

Plight of women in land of brave-hearts, achievers
- The People's Chronicle Editorial :: December 23, 2021 -



IT'S an irony that in a state where women have been proactively involved in socio-political activism/since the past many decades, overtly held in high esteem and achieved a lot in diverse fields, there is still strong necessity for effective functioning of the Manipur State Commission for Women (MSCW) to ensure that the womenfolk live a secured life.

Regardless of Manipuri womenfolk seen as social reformers and vocal advocates of human rights, the statement by chairperson in-charge Thumlip Tiningpham Monsang that the Commission is eyeing to activate one grievance cell each in all the districts to prevent and address crimes against women timely and effectively rings out the message that safety of women and young girls is still a far cry.

Her observation that women of the state could not fully exercise and enjoy their rights in-spite of being aware about their legal rights makes it crystal clear that women face atrocities in varied forms but continue to conceal sexual or domestic violence out of fear of social discrimination or stigma.

While it is commendable that the Commission and different organisations have been conducting legal awareness campaign in every district so that women are made known about their legal rights and get justice when crime is committed against them, it is sluggishness in the justice delivery system which seems to be preventing survivors of heinous crimes and-the victims' families from knocking at the doors of the law court.

Accepted that there are constitutional provisions for extending free legal service but the fact remains that not every victim could avail such assistance.

As a consequence of failure of the system, many women in our society have to live with violence in silence as could be gauged from professionals in the field routinely citing difficulties faced by women in confronting the men who violate and abuse them.

Among those choosing silence over raising their voices are women with children who concludethat their only option is to endure the blows to their body, the violations to their intimate being and the subjugation of their spirit in the interest of keeping a roof over their children's heads, food on the table and a father for their children, however high the price they are paying themselves.

These women who see no better option are the ones who have been failed by everyone, including those holding the rein of power and the so-called justice providers. Without an iota of doubt, severity of violence perpetrated against women is not confined to Manipur alone but has permeated all societies including the most civilised nations.

This is exactly the reason why the United Nations has been designating 16 days of activism against domestic violence in the month of October across the world.

This observance is aimed at drawing focus to train the masses on what one already knows and should be done but is not being done.

As such, the commission's objective to open grievance cells in all 16 districts of the state to expeditiously solve plight and suffering of the women merits unconditional support from the government as well as the many civil society organisations which have been advocating empowerment of the women.



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