With a vision to create and promote a gender just society, North East Network has been building the capacity of women leaders in several districts of Meghalaya on women’s human rights to social protection. This, in one way is paving a path to equality by empowering grassroots women leaders.
Our earlier engagement with rural women’s collectives brought into light that they had little to no access to social security schemes either because they lack awareness of the schemes that they are entitled to or they did not possess the documents required to claim any. This was documented in our Study on ‘Women’s Access to Economic, Social, Cultural and Political Rights’ that recommended conducting workshops on legal remedies for community women more so because the increasing crime rates against women and children make it imperative that women leaders are enhanced with knowledge on pro-gender legislations.
To further this need, on June 20, 2019, NEN organized a capacity building workshop for our trained women leaders on ‘Legal remedies for women and children: Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005, Protection Of Children from Sexual Offences Act 2012 and Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention and Protection Act) 2013’ with the objectives of enhancing the basic knowledge of the existing legal remedies for women and children implemented in the state and the applicability of knowledge imparted as well as providing handholding support to assist people in utilizing the law to ensure justice. A total of 36 women leaders participated in the programme and action plans were put forth to further organize community awareness programmes on several social issues in South West Khasi Hills Districts. Our Community leaders form an important link between the rural women groups and our team and make sure that there is wider reception of our ideas in their communities thus enabling us to start from a little more than scratch!