To commemorate International Women’s Day, Special Gram Sabhas to mainstream gender issues for women and children across the state of Assam were organised on Tuesday.
Sabhas were organised by the Directorate of Social Welfare (DSW) in collaboration with the Panchayat and Rural Development Department (PNRD) of the Assam government.
In one such sabha at Rabindra Bhawan in Guwahati, state Finance and Social Welfare Minister, Ajanta Neog said, “Gender equality can be achieved by overcoming social barriers and constructs that lead to detrimental behaviour such as girls dropping out of school, child and forced marriage, violence against girls and women.”
“The special Gram sabha on children and women’s rights will provide an opportunity to mainstream gender issues at the local level. This is a unique initiative of DSW and PNRD which should be sustained,” she added.
In support of the sustainable development’s gender equality goal, the Directorate of Social Welfare and Panchayat and Rural Development department with technical support from UNICEF Assam organized the state-level culmination event in presence of Dr Madhulika Jonathan, Chief of UNICEF Assam Field Office.
Re-emphasising the need for collaborative efforts to address gender inequality, Dr Jonathan said, “If we prioritise adolescent girls’ issues, empower them with the education and skills required to realize their full potential and access opportunities, in the 21st-century economy we will be simultaneously reducing the likelihood of child marriage, unwanted pregnancies and HIV infections.”
She also highlighted the need for standard operating procedures on gender-based violence to enhance the ability of duty-bearers to deliver implementation at the grass-root level. (ANI)