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A “car campaign” in commemoration of International day for the elimination of violence against Women and launching the 16 days of Activism against Gender-based violence with the theme ‘End Violence Against Women Now!’ was held at old MLA Hostel Junction, Kohima on 25th November 2021.

Guest of Honour, DGP Nagaland, T. John Longkumer, IPS, in his address reminded and reassured the women of Nagaland that there are constitutional and legal provisions available to combat this threat and ensure justice to all who are wronged.

He stated that the Indian Constitution through the Fundamental Rights and Directive policies of state policies laid the foundation for a just and egalitarian society where the dignity and respect of women are ensured. The legal provisions in the Indian Penal Code and CrPC (Amendment Act) 2013 enshrine preventive and punitive actions to safeguard the rights of women and girls. These laws are further bolstered by other laws like, Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005, (Prevention of) Immoral Traffic in Women's and Girl Act, Sexual Harassment of Women at Work Place 2013, POCSO Act 2012, The Prohibition of Child marriage Act, 2006, Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act 1986 and the IT Act 2000.

Longkumer mentioned that it has been the concerted effort of Nagaland Police to address the issue of violence against women and to this effect Women Police Stations and Anti-Human Trafficking units have been established in all the districts of Nagaland. Additionally Women Help Desks have been established in every police station to increase the outreach. Nagaland Police, since 2018 to 2020 registered 249 cases of violence (crime) against women leading to arrest of 19 persons, rescue of 26 women and girl from human trafficking and rescue of 18 sex workers, he stated.

He said the campaign was aimed to prevent and eliminate violence against women and girls by increasing awareness, promoting advocacy and creating opportunities for discussions on the challenge and solutions and assured that all grievances will be taken up expeditiously for redressal as per the law of the land.

Chairperson NSCW, Khrienuo Tachü in her introductory message briefed that the 16 Days of Activism is observed worldwide to end all forms of violence against women. Mass awareness and sensitization is needed to stop sexual harassment, domestic violence, and the exploitation of women and girl child. As a community we need to identify and address the forms of violence against women that the present Naga society is faced with. And every woman and girl should be able to walk freely and safely in the streets in any locality at any hour without fear, threat or harassment’, she added.

Tachü informed that NSCW is working together with several stakeholders to end all forms of violence against women and added that change must come from the grassroots; therefore NSCW is cooperating and working closely with tribal community leaders, colony and locality elders and church leaders to bring change and achieve concrete results.

Meanwhile Director, Social Welfare, Michael Zaren and Member Secretary, Nagaland State Legal Services Authority, Victo Sema added their views on the calls to increase awareness, galvanize advocacy efforts and sensitize the end of violence against women.

The programme was jointly organised by Department of Social Welfare, NSCW, NSSWB, SRCW, Angawadi, Child Line and Women Helpline, KCCI, AKMWP, NAC. Around fifty cars, participating in the campaign, dispersed to various colonies across Kohima town distributing IEC materials, flyers, posters, banners, etc. to create awareness on the elimination of violence against women.

(Siizo Kikhi IA Kohima)