SILIKHABARI (DHEKIAJULI), March 9 � �Without equality for women, overall progress of the society is not possible. Though we claim to be members of a modern society, the women still suffer gender and other discriminations. Even the supposedly rich and advanced nations have failed to provide equal rights to women.,� said the president of the Boro Women Justice Forum and the secretary of the Bodo National Convention (BNC), Anjali Daimary while addressing a massive gathering at Silikhabari Rangamancha on the occasion of International Women�s Day, a remote rural area on the south of NH 15, nearly 30 km from Dhekiajuli town in Sonitpur district.
Urging all concerned to provide adequate space for women, she said that countries with more gender equality have better economic growth. Companies with more women leaders perform better and the peace agreements that include women are more durable. On the otherhand, parliaments with more women enact more legislations on key social issues such as health, education, anti-discrimination and child support. Expressing total discontentment over the alleged discrimination of women, Daimary further stated that important gains have been made in access to education for girls and political representation by women. But progress remains too slow and uneven.
Referring to the message of the UN Secretary General for the International Women�s Day, she said that a baby girl born today will face inequality and discrimination, no matter where her mother lives. �We have a common obligation to ensure her right to live free from the violence that affects one in three women globally, to earn equal say in the decisions that affect her life and to decide if and when she will have children, and how many she will have.� Realising human rights and equality is not a dream, it is the duty of the Government and every human being,� she said.
Another speaker, State Transport and Tourism Minister, Chandan Brahma, said that following the decision agreed at Copenhagen in 1911, the International Women�s Day (IWD) was observed for the first time in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland on March 19. More than one million women and men attended IWD rallies campaigning for women�s rights to work, vote, be trained, to hold public office and end discrimination. However less than a week later on March 25, the tragic �Triangle Fire� in New York City took the lives of more than 140 working women, most of them Italian and Jewish immigrants. This disastrous event drew significant attention to working conditions and labour legislation in the United States that became a focus of subsequent International Women�s Day events. �I would like to urge the people dealing with woman issues including our social organisations to work for women empowerment so that our economically and educationally backward women could have a room for their uplift reflecting overall development in the society,� Brahma said.
Earlier, the secretary of the Boro Sahitya Sabha, Kamala Kanta Mochahari said that the new millennium has witnessed a significant change and attitudinal shift in both women�s and society�s thoughts about women's equality and emancipation. Many from a younger generation feel that �all the battles have been won for women� while many feminists from the 1970�s know only too well the longevity and ingrained complexity of patriarchy. With more women in the boardroom, greater equality in legislative rights, and an increased critical mass of women�s visibility as impressive role models in every aspect of life, one could think that women have gained true equality. The unfortunate fact is that women are still not paid equally as their male counterparts, women still are not present in equal numbers in business or politics, and globally women�s education, health and the violence against them is worse than that of men. �However, great improvements have been made. We do have female astronauts and prime ministers, school girls are welcomed into university, women can work and have a family, women have real choices. And so the tone and nature of IWD has, for the past few years, moved from being a reminder about the negatives to a celebration of the positives.�
Mochahari added that annually on March 8, thousands of events are held throughout the world to inspire women and celebrate achievements. A global web of rich and diverse local activity connects women from all around the world ranging from political rallies, business conferences, and government activities and networking events through the local women�s craft markets, theatrical performances, fashion parades and more. Many global corporations have also started to more actively support IWD by running their own internal events and through supporting external ones. This atmosphere, we must create for a sustainable environment in our society. The meeting was held under the aegis of the Tezpur district Boro Sahitya Sabha and was attended by the NDFB supremo Ranjan Daimary, Prasanta Kumar Khaklary, secretary, Bodo People�s Committee for Peace Initiative and the secretary of the Tezpur district BSS, Prasanta Boro among others.