An all-women consultative meet for peace held in New Delhi

June 24th, 2009 - 9:25 pm ICT by ANI  

By Kaikho Paphro

New Delhi, June 24 (ANI): Professional women from northeast India recently shared a platform to discuss ways to bring peace, ensure justice and political rights ruptured by decades of conflict in the northeast region of the country.

The occasion was the first ever-consultative conclave of women from northeast organised by the Manipur Women Gun Survivors Network in collaboration with the India International Center in national capital.

With the theme “Northeast Women Initiative for Peace”, the meet was an effort to look at conflict issues in a holistic and strategic way.

Women, in the northeast, have played a major role in several social movements.

“Meetings like this is to say we can make a difference, every person can make a difference, every man, woman in the region can make a difference and this is what we are trying to say,” said Binalakshmi Nephram, Founder of the Manipur Gun Survivor Network.

“There are so many women groups all over Nagaland, all over northeast, all working for on the same issue; peace, conflict prevention. Why we are having this meeting is because this is a platform where we can all converge together and work for a bigger issues because when we look around, women organisation in all seven states, if we all come together on a powerful base, we can reach out to a bigger movement,” said Elizabeth Imti, Parliamentary Affairs Coordinator, Control Arms Foundation, India.

The conclave gave an opportunity to discuss and plan out several strategies based on problems faced especially by women due to rise in armed conflicts and violence in the region.

The meet also looked at measures in building peace and understanding among the different communities.

“In northeast, we have stereotype ideas about different people. So when we come together, those stereotype breaks. When you get together, when you talk, discuss. It’s through dialogue, there is better understanding and that’s how you should go forward and I’m sure something will come out of it,” said Uddipana Goswami, Media Consultant and scholar from Jawaharlal Nehru University.

“The efforts taken up by ‘Women Gun Survivors Network’ are worth praising. In this interactive programme, we got chance to interact with other activists and we take up issues related to northeast. That way, we can share our views. We need such initiatives in future as well,” said Malem Ningthoujam, a member of the Manipur Student Association in Delhi.”It’s good we are having conclave and seminars like this because most people are not aware of what is happening in Manipur and northeast states. So with women taking this initiative, I think it is a good message to the men out there who are taking up their guns and fighting and not actually thinking about peaceful talks like this. I am very happy to be a part of this,” said Hommiza Raman, a participant.

The meeting drew up policies for women to strategize action plans in bringing peace and justice in the region. It also looked at the efforts taken up at local, national and international level to end violence in northeast.

The peace conclave will be held in the different northeast states throughout the year. (ANI)

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