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More funds needed to fight witch-hunting: NCW

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, June 27 - The National Commission for Women (NCW) is going to recommend to the Government of Assam for more allocation of funds to the Assam State Commission for Women so that it can effectively deal with issues such as witch-hunting and trafficking.

Addressing mediapersons here today, Chairperson of the NCW Lalitha Kumaramangalam observed that to eliminate vicious traditions like witch hunting it is important for society also to play a proactive role. Stressing capacity building of state women�s commissions, she said that the NCW will encourage training for the members of the state commissions so that rights of women are ensured.

�Empowerment of women can be achieved only when there is advancement in their living conditions and convergence between civil society and government,� said the NCW Chairperson, mentioning that women in Assam and the other North East states have been exposed to myriad challenges, including inaccessibility to basic amenities like proper healthcare, sanitation, required nutrition etc.

It needs to be mentioned here that earlier in the day, the NCW Chairperson participated in a regional consultation on draft national policy for women, 2016 which was organised here by the Government of Assam and Assam State Commission for Women in collaboration with the NCW.

�So far we have organised five such consultations including the one in Guwahati to incorporate suggestions from different organisations, NGOs, civil society, state department officials, to create an effective framework of developing a national policy which will ensure equal rights and opportunities for women in family, community, workplace and in governance,� said the NCW Chairperson, adding that today�s regional consultation brought to the fore a host of issues faced by women in the North East. She assured that the NCW will examine these pertinent issues, including that of lack of property rights of women in the region.

�Some customary laws come in the way of women inheriting property. This is a delicate issue and it will be a long process to find a solution,� she said.

On the other hand, the NCW Chairperson said the menace of trafficking can be combated if steps like skill development of school dropout girls and the marginalised section are undertaken in real earnestness. She also pointed out that trafficking can be eliminated with the engagement of all communities in the anti-trafficking agenda. �To stop girls from going out lured with the promise of jobs, we need to focus on skill development activities,� she insisted, adding that importance should be given to building up both traditional and non-traditional skills.

Kumaramangalam also said Assam lacks good shelter homes for mentally and physically disabled women.

Voicing concern over increasing Nirbhaya-like incidents in the country, she called for action against the perpetrators of such heinous crimes and assured that the NCW would pursue such cases within its limits. �It is time to take action against those making derogatory remarks against women even though they are celebrities. We are also concerned about online abuse of women,� she added.

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