Women groups demonstrate for Peace in Manipur on Women’s Equality Day

Imphal: With the objective to spotlight the critical issue of violence and hardships women face during the present crisis in Manipur, women under the umbrella of the Meitei Alliance for Harmony in Manipur (MAHM) and Eta North-East Women’s Network, gathered at Kangla, here, on Saturday evening commemorating the Women’s Equality Day.

Women and mothers bear a disproportionate burden during this crisis, facing unique challenges due to their caregiving roles and societal expectations.The event emphasizes the imperative of tackling this violence, nurturing enduring peace, and empowering women within the region, said a statement of the event organisers.

The Meitei Alliance for Harmony in Manipur resonates with the viewpoints of Meitei worldwide, including those who hold positions of authority and have achieved success and social prominence. These individuals are advocates for rational reconciliation and

constructive dialogue, representing a voice that seeks understanding and unity. “At MAHM, we stand shoulder to shoulder with Eta North-East Women’s Network in advocating for women’s rights and equality. Our joint event signifies our shared commitment to building a more just and harmonious Manipur,” said Sanjeeta Aheibam, of Hyderabad Manipuri Society.

MAHM, an alliance dedicated to resolving the sectarian conflict in Manipur through a multifaceted approach, underscores the importance of addressing historical grievances, fostering inclusive dialogues, promoting equitable governance, and celebrating the diversity of Manipur. The alliance firmly believes that genuine reconciliation between the Meiteis and the Kukis requires sustained efforts, emphasizing a united Manipur that cherishes its differences. Political will, active citizen participation, and a collective vision for peace and prosperity are essential to redirect the region away from conflict towards a harmonious future, the statement said.

“We’re strongly dedicated to supporting Meitei women, alongside our global community. By connecting our homeland with people worldwide, we’re breaking barriers and promoting fairness. Whilewe stand up for women’s rights, we’re also focused on strengthening our identity and making things better in Manipur. Together, let’s work to stop the violence, bring peace, and create a brighter future that includes everyone,” said Dr Rajshree Keisham, vice-president, Association of Meiteis in the Americas.

MAHM recommends the establishment of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission comprising representatives from both the Meitei and Kuki communities, civil society members, and experts. This commission would serve as a platform for candid discussions to address historical grievances and foster trust. In its commitment to empowering women, MAHM, along with Eta, recognizes the importance of addressing the crisis. “We advocate for immediate and permanent disarmament of all armed groups and individuals across communities. Additionally, they call for the safe return of displaced persons with ensured security, while also urging for justice for all victims of violence.”

The event aligns with Eta North-East Women’s Network core principles and initiatives. Eta North-East Women’s Network, established in 2019, is a non-political organization with over 4000 women members, primarily from Manipur. Focusing on women’s rights, health awareness, entrepreneurship, and gender equality, Eta has played a pivotal role in the region’s development.

“MAHM remains dedicated to empowering women and advocating for their equality in all spheres. Together with Eta, we are determined to make a positive impact on Manipur’s future,” said Dr. Billie Thoidingjam, spokesperson for Association of Meiteis in the Americas.

“Eta will stand united against the violence and stand for justice, unity and empowerment. Our event on Women’s Equality Day is a testament to our commitment to make Manipur a safer and more equitable place for all women”, said Sofia Rajkumari, founder and chairperson of Eta North-East Women’s Network.

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