GUWAHATI, Aug 11 - Even though women in Assam traditionally enjoy a respectable status in the society, their socio-economic status has been greatly affected due to human trafficking and rise in crimes against them in the State, as per a study conducted by the Drishti Stree Adhyayan Prabodhan Kendra.
The study, conducted in 91 villages of Hailakandi, Dima Hasao, Kokrajhar, Tinsukia and Jorhat districts, found that uneducated and poor girls in these districts are being lured into prostitution and other forms of immoral and illegal acts by agents who offer them jobs mainly as domestic help outside the State.
The study was released at the Vivekananda Kendra, Uzanbazar here.
Naba Doley, Minister of Social Welfare, Panchayat and Rural Development, Culture and Sports, while expressing concern over the emerging trends related to crimes against women, laid stress on the financial independence of women to strengthen their position in the society.
�Financial independence of women, especially in rural areas, will help them get stronger so that they can reclaim their position in the society. However, there are some other aspects too, including law and order, that need to be looked into to make Assam a safer place for women,� he added.
Drishti Stree Adhyayan Prabodhan Kendra is a Pune-based information, documentation and research centre working in the field of women issues. It has conducted its study in Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh.
The NGO further intends to carry out similar studies in other parts of the North- east as well.
Speaking on the occasion, Geeta Gunde, founder trustee of the Drishti Stree Adhyayan Prabodhan Kendra, said unlike many other States in the country, discrimination against women traditionally does not exist in Assam.
�The menace of human trafficking has increased in poor countries throughout the world and the reasons are known to the conscious citizens. However, to bring in the desirable changes, we need to focus on the key factors of human trafficking, which are social as well as financial,� she added.
Assam State Commission for Women chairperson Chikimiki Talukdar and Assam State Commission for Protection of Child Rights chairperson Runumi Gogoi shared their experiences on these issues.
Krishna Das, chairperson of the Assam State Social Welfare Board, also talked about several initiatives of the State Government to intervene in such issues.
Earlier, Dr Devika Barman, co-ordinator of the Kendra in Assam, delivered the welcome address. The objectives of the programme were highlighted by secretary Dr Anjali Deshpande.