International Women’s Day 2020
Laitkseh, West Khasi Hills, Meghalaya
The International Women’s Day (IWD) is over a century old tradition that celebrates the contributions and achievements made by women and the struggles that women have gone through to achieve equality. The Day calls for likeminded people- men, women, youth and children to collectively work together to advance women’s human rights. Today, we have come a long way and we only have the generations of women before us to thank. However, we are yet to achieve an equal world.
NEN strongly believes that enabling equality should be a collective effort and has been observing the day along with millions of women and organizations across the globe for decades. This year we collaborated with the Seng Kynthei (Women’s Group) and Dorbar Shnong (Local Governing Body) of Laitkseh to celebrate the women of the community and engage the men in ensuring generational equality. The Sordar Shnong (Village Headman) inaugurated the day by addressing the audience. He said that women play several important roles in society and deserve due recognition for it. He said ‘Ki Longkmie ki long ki nongtei ia ka lawei’ (Women are the ones who build the future) and the onus is on the community to create an equal world for them replete with opportunities. The difference between men and women should never be ground for discrimination and men need to understand this.
The highlight of the day was a Theatre Act put together by the Seng Kynthei on the centrality of domestic spaces in shaping perception of gender. They portrayed that gender equality begins at home, and families are at the front lines of change. For the next generation, the examples set at home and school by parents, teachers, care-givers and extended family are shaping the way the children think about gender and equality. The women were very dynamic and confident and captured the essence of IWD 2020 i.e., generational equality.
Arnicia Kharnaior, our Project Manager from Meghalaya gave a talk on the fundamental importance of equality for a just society, the necessity to demand equality and realizing women’s contribution to the society and also the need for collective action towards equality. Post this, the Seng Kynthei organized a Fashion Show where they walked the ramp embracing the women in themselves and creatively expressing themselves. The Programme saw the participation of over 200 people from Laitkseh.