The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated that the world was unprepared to respond to the rapid escalation of all forms of VAW. The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign reinforces the elimination of all forms of violence against women. This year marks its 30th Anniversary and calls for all individuals and organizations to strategize in prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls.
With COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent lockdown triggering unbridled cases of domestic violence across Meghalaya in 2020, this year too is no different with rising number of cases surfacing every day, even while many go undetected.
NEN Meghalaya inaugurated the campaign with an ‘Interface Meeting with Community Leaders of the East Khasi Hills District on VAW and Rights and Entitlements’ at the NEN Resource Centre, on the 25th of November, 2021. The programme aimed to capacitate and engage Grassroot Leaders of SEWA and Outreach Workers of NEN to gain familiarisation on VAW, and its various forms.
The programme not only created awareness but has enabled the Grassroot leaders to assess and identify the many shortcomings in addressing and redressing issues like VAW and people’s advocacy on Rights and Entitlements. The participants shared their encounters and experiences and in return gained information so as to strengthen community response to such issues.
On the 30th of November, 2021, NEN Meghalaya, in collaboration with the West Khasi Hills Police, organised an Awareness Programme on Social Issues at Kyllang village, WKHD. The various laws that ensure protection to women and children and their legal implications were highlighted. Members of the Dorbar Shnong and Community members participated in the programme. Participants are made aware of the how gender based discrimination in the society leads to VAW and children and the legal implications pertaining to it.
To ensure inclusive learning for children and women, NEN, Meghalaya, in collaboration with SEWA, has set up a “Mini-Library and Toy Bank” at Thangsning Anganwadi Centre. The inauguration held on 9th December, 2021, was attended by women of the village and their children. The initiative aimed to ensure that beneficiaries of Aganwadi Centres receive inclusive learning and education through books and creative play resources.