Activities of the Commission, 2014
Legal Awareness Programme
The Meghalaya State Commission for Women in collaboration with District Administration had organized a one day Legal Awareness Programme on the Legislations for Women and Children in different Districts and Blocks of the State. These programmes were supported financially by the National Commission for Women, New Delhi. Members from the Local Non Governmental Organizations, Officers from various Government Department and other Local Women’s Group the programmes.
These programmes were organized in the following districts:
- 16th January 2014 at Nongstoin, West Khasi Hills, District
- 04th February, 2014 at Khliehriat, Jaintia Hills District
- 12th February, 2014 at Pynursla, East Khasi Hills District
- 18th February, 2014 at Ampati, South Garo Hills District
- 28th March, 2014 at Dilma Mendipathar, North Garo Hills
International Women's Day
The Meghalaya State Commission for Women and the Department of Social Welfare had organized a one day Interactive session on Issues related to Women & Amendment of the Criminal Procedure Code with representatives of the Civil Society organizations and school students at Dakopgre, Tura. The commission also facilitated well known writer and educationist Bruce K Sangma, entrepreneur C.S.N. Sangma and Mother’s Union, an NGO from West Garo Hills for their achievements and contribution to the society. There was also an extempore speech competition participated by students from different schools of Tura, Bonesheka Masumdar of Sherwood School, Tasea R Marak of St.Xavier's School and Amesha. A. Sangma of Aeroville School bagged the 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes respectively.
Interactive Programme on Issues Related To Women and Children
On 6th June 2014, the Meghalaya State Commission for Women organized a one day interactive programme at Mawlasnai village, Ri Bhoi District. This programme was attended by heads of Traditional Institutions and women’s group from Mawlasnai and its neighbouring villages, the Chairperson, M.S.C.W., officials from Social Welfare Department, & members of the Commission. During the Interactive programme, Mr. P.Marwein, General Secretary of Mawlasnai village, said that for the first time such programme is being organized for women and it is indeed going to be beneficial. Problems of early marriage, teenage pregnancy, desertion, domestic violence exist in the village. There were suggestions that the Commission’s intervention is needed in creating awareness about issues related to women and children and that there is a need for a coordinated effort amongst the head of different traditional institutions to bring about improvement in the living conditions and status of women and children
Leardership Training and Capacity Building
The Meghalaya State Commission for women initiated a programme for building Leadership skills and capacities among the Adolescent Girls in Shillong. The programme was held in two phases in the month of August and October 2014 at the Meghalaya Bharat Scout and Guides. The objective of the programme was
- To provide the young girls with basic knowledge and information on various rights, gender and other issues related to women and girls
- To enhance their capacity and leadership skills and help you in developing your personality and decision making
- To share whatever they have learned from this programme with their peers, friends in the school and neighbors.
More than 72 students from different educational institutions from Jaintia, Ri Bhoi, East Khasi and Garo Hills Hills participated in the programme.
Meeting On Crime Against Women
A meeting on crime against women was held on held on the 18 November 2014 for Government officials at the office of the Meghalaya State Commission for women to discuss about the rising trends of crime against women and children in the State which is alarming and distressing. It was attended by representatives from the District Council Court, Police, Health, Social Welfare, Meghalaya State Legal Service Authority, State Commission for Protection of child Rights and members of the Commission. Some of the important suggestions that emerge out of the meeting are as follows:-
- Sensitization and Interactive Programme, Williamnagar (26th April, 2013) - Being the first of its kind in the district, the programme was conducted in collaboration with the District Administration, in view of the gang rape incidence and rising number of crimes against women, particularly in East Garo Hills. It was graced by Smti. Deborah C. Marak, Social Welfare Minister, who emphasized on the need for a comprehensive mechanism in order to safeguard womenfolk. The resource persons were Dr. (Mrs.) Sanghamitra Barik, Assistant Director, National Institute of People Co-operation and Child Development, who spoke on Domestic Violence, Legislations, Schemes and Programmes for women and children in difficulties, and Shri. P. L. Sebastian, Advocate, who deliberated on the role of stakeholders in tackling cases of violence, particularly rape, in the district and Smti. M.Kharkongor Members M.S.C.W. on different legislation with regards to offences against women.
- Legal Awareness and Sensitization Programmes at:
- To intensify awareness programme and sensitisation on a regular basis for all stake holders including both the courts
- To request the Government to notify and revive the functioning of all Fast Track Court in the state
- To request Government to issue necessary direction to concern Department to regulate the accessibility of young people to mobiles/ internet especially in schools and to get the porn sites blocked
- The Department concern to issue directions to all C.H.Cs/ P.H.Cs to inform victims about the existence of the Rape victim compensation scheme
- To request investigation to collect strong evidence for smooth trials
- To request concern department to appoint female prosecutor for any such victims
- To follow up the setting up of the One Stop Crises Centre for women by the Government
- To make it mandatory that compensation to Minor Rape victim should not be compromised
- To request Government to notify the functioning of all District Legal Services Authority in the state and the District Level Committee on Crimes and Violence against women
- To sensitize and integrate religious denomination and civil society about the issues.
Campaign Protesting Violence Against Women,25th November 10th December 2014
- Symposium on Media and Technology - To observe the International Day for the Elimination of all forms of violence against women, the Meghalaya State Commission for Women in collaboration with Martin Luther Christian University organized a symposium on Media and Technology; its implication on women and girls on the 25th November 2014 for college students. The objective of the programme was to deliberate on the importance of using technology in a beneficial way and to avoid its misuse, since there have been a lot of cases where women and girls have been exploited and harassed through technology.
Inspector General of Police, Meghalaya, Mr. G.H.P. Raju (I.P.S.) said that while the use of technology and gadgets like smart phone, ipads, laptop, and computers has reduced the isolation between human beings, it has also made us more vulnerable to cyber crimes. Further he urged the M.S.C.W. to organize similar awareness programme for parents. Mrs. Patricia Mukhim, Editor of The Shillong Times, shared her views on the ethics and sensitivity of the press in relation to women and girls. Dr. S. Maxwell Lyngdoh enlightened the participants on the effects of media on women and girls.
- Road Show - As a part of the '16 Days of Activism' campaign against violence against women, the Meghalaya State Commission for Women in collaboration with Martin Luther Christian University organised a daylong road show in the populated areas of Madanryting, Jhalupara and culminated at Polo market on the 2nd December 2014.
The students put together plays in Khasi and Hindi to portray an instance of domestic violence within a marriage, incorporating ways in which victims can seek help from the Meghalaya State Commission for Women or the District Social Welfare Officer of the respective district.
Apart from the plays, the students also used slogans, charts, question and answer sessions and flex displays to get the message of the road show across to the people.
- Advocacy And Interactive Meeting With Faith Based Organizations, N.G.Os And Traditional Institutions On Various Issues Related To Crime Against Women And Children - On December 10th, 2014 an Advocacy and Interactive Meeting with the Faith Based Organizations, N.G.Os and Traditional Institutions was organized by the Meghalaya State Commission for Women to commemorate World Human Rights Day. The meeting was held with the objective of developing a close network of Faith Based Organizations, N.G.Os, Government and Traditional Institutions to check the menace of crime against Women and Children which has become a dominating social, political and legal problem all over the country and the state of Meghalaya is no exception to it. The meeting was attended by the leading personalities from the Faith Based Organizations, N.G.Os, Traditional Institutions, State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, Law Enforcement Agencies, Social Welfare Department, Media and the members of the Meghalaya State Commission for Women. In the meeting, there was presentation and interaction whereby a commitment to eradicate the menace of crime against women and children were highlighted and deliberated upon the ways and means to tackle the issue.
- Rally Cum Awareness Programme - The World Human Rights Day was observed in Williamnagar on the 10th of December 2014. The Meghalaya State Commission for Women in collaboration with the District Legal Services Authority and Action Aid Association organized a Rally Cum Awareness Programme to mark the 16 Days of Activism to End Violence Against Women. School students, members of non-government organizations and concern citizens attended the rally. The Awareness programme was inaugurated by Shri.W.Diengdoh, District Session Judge, East Garo Hills, Williamnagar.
- Visit To The District Jail For Women In Shillong - On the 10th July 2014, the Chairperson and Members of the Commission visited the District Jail for Women in Shillong and interacted with the Jail authority as well as inspected the accommodation facilities provided for the female inmates. The members inquired about their respective cases held in different court and were satisfied with the proceeding of each case. Altogether there were 11 inmates during the visit.
The Commission observed that the rooms were small and congested and the living arrangement needs to be improved. Vocational training provided is not up to the mark and extra training to be enhanced. It was suggested that a separate nursing room for mothers with children and counseling session for the inmates needs to be provided.
- Visit To Ganesh Das Hospital, Shillong - The Meghalaya State commission for Women in its visit to Ganesh Das Hospital on the 15th October 2014 met the Medical Superintendent, who briefed the members on the health care facilities provided for women and children in the wake of the recent fire that broke out at the labour room complex on the 6th October 2014.
The Commission inspected the Labour room and other wards located in the hospital complex. The renovation work is in progress and temporary arrangement to ensure limited delivery services is being done. It was learned that normal services will be functioning soon. The Commission observed that there are limited services of manpower to cater to the needs of children in the 100 bedded Pediatric Ward. The Commission is impressed with the facilities at the ICU, but unfortunately the acute shortage of nursing staff is disheartening.
The Commission felt that there is an urgent need to complete the newly constructed hospital complex in view of the increase number of registered cases of women and children. It is also viewed with serious concern regarding the shortage of manpower which needs to be strengthened as per the guidelines since it is the only hospital catering to the need of women and children.