GUWAHATI, April 4 - Highlighting the limited opportunity for women in politics and decision making and a number of other gender issues, women from diverse fields came together for a �Women�s March for Change� near Dighalipukhuri here today.
Thousands of women across India marched today to voice their concern over the current atmosphere of hate and violence prevailing in the country.
The march and the rally organised by groups of women from different backgrounds, provided an opportunity to the women from different castes, communities and ethnicities to come together and share their concerns as well as raise their voice for a more meaningful space for women in politics.
With special thrust on lack of space and opportunity for women to participate in politics and decision-making processes, the women�s groups highlighted limited representation of women from Assam in the Lok Sabha as well as in State Legislative Assembly.
�In Assam Assembly there are only 6.35 per cent women, which is a decline from the already low 11 per cent from the previous Assembly. The Women�s Reservation Bill has lapsed in Parliament. No political party has reservation for women. At the panchayat level too, woman candidates are manipulated by the male members of their families and political parties. None of the parties takes up the real issues concerning women,� the organisers stated.
A number of issues surfaced when the participants at the rally started sharing their experiences. The participants demanded justice for Kulsuma Begum, who was assaulted by police during an eviction drive in Hojai district. Kulsuma later gave birth to a baby and died at the GMCH.
The issues of exclusion of women from the NRC and the condition of women held in six detention camps of Assam were also discussed. Most of these women have been separated from their children, some as young as two years.
A number of speakers, including Banamallika Choudhury, Pooja Nirala and Nasreen Habib, spoke on the occasion.
Expressing concern at the trend of attacks on women for speaking out in public and in the media, the women asked the government to take prompt action on these issues and strengthen the police IT cells to identify and book the culprits.
Issues like violence against women, including domestic violence, murder, rape, witch hunting and the financial condition of women were also discussed.
�We demand that the government take action to make the State support system functional and responsive to women�s needs so that justice is delivered to women in the shortest time. We also demand action against violation of woman workers� rights, regular breaking of labour laws and job security and social security of women engaged in private and informal sectors,� the organisers stated.