GUWAHATI, March 8 - With some real issues concerning safety, security and empowerment of women, the International Women�s Day was celebrated here today by various organisations, activists, women support groups and institutions.
Call for affirmative action on gender parity was the highlight of the day, along with the need for greater level of awareness among women and also men, regarding the rights and legal support system for every woman of the society.
Demanding proper implementations of the laws meant to protect women in the society, the North East Network (NEN), Asom Mahila Sangha, Young Women�s Christian Association, Sadou Asom Pragatisheel Nari Sanstha and All India Democratic Women�s Association celebrated the day in Guwahati.
The organisations stressed on the immediate notification of a nodal agency with budgetary allocation to implement the Assam Witch Hunting (Prohibition, Prevention and Protection) Act.
The women�s organisations also demanded effective implementation of the Domestic Violence Act, and Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act along with special emphasis on making functional the 1091 women�s helpline, which has been lying defunct for several years.
Under the aegis of Women�s Cell of the University of Science and Technology, Meghalaya (USTM), RIST and ERDF, a rally was organised to create mass awareness to achieve the International Women�s Day theme �Planet 50-50 � Stepping up for Gender Parity� at Last Gate, Guwahati. The rally was flagged off by actress Nishita Goswami, writer and TV personality Maini Mahanta and Damayanti Devi, a member of Kasturba Ashram, where USTM Chancellor M Hoque, Professor Nilima Bhagabati, Professor Alaka Sarma, administrative officials, faculty members and a large number of students took part.
Students held placards displaying the need for gender equity. Addressing the students, the guests of the event called upon the society to be sensitive towards the needs of women and to become more assertive. Women for Women, an NGO also joined the rally.
Fransalian Agency for Social Care and Education in India (FAsCE India), with a focus area on women empowerment also celebrated the day at a programme on the premises of SFS Higher Secondary School at Satgaon, Narangi with participation of 250 women from 24 SHGs of FAsCE India.
Speaking on the occasion chief guest Jahnabi Goswami, president of the Assam Network of Positive People, an eminent HIV/AIDS activist and defender of women�s right, inspired the gathering with her touching testimony and urged the women to stand up for their rights and to be the catalyst of positive change.
Fr Saji George, Director, FAsCE India, spoke on the significance of the day and highlighted on women�s rights and their empowerment.
Indian Skills Academy, with a thought of training and orientation, celebrated the day in its campus here. The slogan of celebrating womanhood this time was �Happy to bleed�. On the occasion, model-actress Lovita J Morang inaugurated a workshop based on the agenda of taboos and myths of menstrual cycle, where she spoke on the pride of this cycle that makes a woman complete. Gynaecologist Dr JP Mour was also present in the workshop.
The Assam Human Rights Commission also joined the rest of the world in observing the day. The women employees of the offices of the Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority, Zonal Joint Registrar of Cooperative Societies, Deputy Registrar of Cooperative Societies, Kamrup, were felicitated by Dr Justice Aftab H Saikia, Chairperson, Assam Human Rights Commission on the occasion.
The Department of Psychology, Cotton College State University also commemorated the day with a seminar on the theme �Women and Mental Health� at KBR auditorium of Cotton College here. The seminar was inaugurated by the university�s Vice Chancellor Prof Dhruba Jyoti Saikia who laid emphasis on the general mental health care, especially among women.
The convenor of the seminar and the head in-charge of the Department of Psychology, Dr Dimpy Mahanta spoke about the initiatives of the department to bring about community-based collaborations and spread mental health awareness among all sections of the society.
The keynote address was delivered by Arunima Dutta, entrepreneur and the first Assamese to win the coveted Mrs India World first runner-up title. Ashadeep founder director Dr Anjana Goswami, NGO Swarnabhumi�s founder Urmee Mazumdar and legal practitioner Nilakshi Sharma also spoke.
The Women�s Day was also celebrated by the State Bank of India, Administrative Office, Guwahati at Rabindra Bhawan here. Sanjay Srivastava, Deputy General Manager, B&O, Guwahati Module underlined the importance and indispensable role played by women in building society. A medical camp was also organised at the venue on the occasion where basic health check-ups for underprivileged women were done free of cost.