Itanagar, Nov 14: Women & Child Development (WCD) Minister Alo Libang today exhorted that our state must do away with age old practices like polygamy that hampers the growth of a society. He was speaking as Chief Guest in the one day State Level Seminar on the issue of Polygamy in Arunachal Pradesh organized by Arunachal Pradesh State Commission for Women (APSCW).
Taking the example of child marriage and forced marriage that have rapidly declined over the last many years, he said that he believed that Polygamy will also extinct completely in the next few years. But for that, Libang said, the society in general must shoulder the collective responsibility and look for ways to lead the younger generation with good morales. He also said that Education will play a big role in eradicating this evil by showing the rights and wrongs to students. He lauded the APSCW for holding the seminar and taking the initiative.
While mentioning the ill-effects of polygamy on a society including domestic violence, financial strain, psychological problems on children, Joint Secretary, National Commission for Women, Asholi Chalai said that polygamy stems from male chauvinism that stands contrary to the idea of equal and inclusive development.
Citing the fact that India stands at number 135 out of 146 countries in the Global Gender Gap, he said that even after 75 years of Independence, women in India and tribal women in particular, are marginalized. He also mentioned that there is no dearth of legislation to protect and advocate women rights; what is lacking is our mindset.
He appealed everyone to retrospect the challenges that women are facing. He also appealed women based organizations and NGOs to conduct social awareness program. Chalai hoped that this one day seminar will be able to change the mindset of atleast a few, if not all.
Advisor to WCD, MLA Dasanglu Pul said that steps other than only creating awareness, have to be taken up to eradicate polygamy. She also informed that a memorandum has been submitted to the government to take special classes for girl child educating them about health and hygiene, good touch, bad touch and alike. Talking about women empowerment, Pul said only women can truly empower women.
Secretary WCD, C.N.Longphai said that to discuss any social issue including polygamy in a society particularly in a tribal society, the larger context of the society has to be taken into account because the social aspects of a tribal society are all inter-related. He said that APSCW has been working relentlessly since its inception for improving the status of women in the state.
Earlier Chairperson APSCW Kenjum Pakam and Vice Chairperson Nabam Yahi Tad also spoke. The inaugural session was followed by a technical session.