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National Consultation On Issues Related To Single Mothers

For the first time a National Consultation on issues related to Single Mothers was held in Shillong on the 20th and 21st April 2015 organised by the Meghalaya State Commission for Women and supported by National Commission for Women, New Delhi. The inaugural function was graced by the Honourable speaker Mr. A.T.Mondal as the Chief Guest. In his speech he said that the problems and challenges faced by single mothers is a burning issue. The Guest of honour Mr. Justine Dkhar, Parliamentary Secretary, Social Welfare Department emphasized that in a matrilineal society majority of the children belong to the mother- women who are separated divorced or widowed have to fend for her children single handedly on her own. A keynote address was delivered by Smti.Laldiangliani Sailo, Member of the National Commission for women. She stressed on the specific intervention which the Government and other stake holders need to make. She urged all the speakers to make the deliberations focused and steer with actionable recommendation.

The resource persons for the consultation were from Tata Institute of Social Science, Guwahati Campus, North East Network, Tezpur University, JNIMS Manipur, Tripura University, Manbha Foundation, Tezpur University, North Eastern Hill University and officers from Health and Social Welfare Department.

Some of the key recommendations that came out of the consultation are as follows:

  • The State Commission for Women will undertake the task of defining single women in consultation with the National Commission for Women. It will also undertake the task to collect data on single mother households and to document their problems.
  • To advocate for setting up of women study centres or institute for women studies in states which do not have such institutes
  • Several lacunas in the support system for single mothers came to light during interactions and it was suggested that the National Commission for Women should advocate for more funds and flexibility for such projects like Ujjwala homes, Swadhar Greh etc.