GUWAHATI, Sept 9: Bijayini, a network of woman with disability in the NE region, as a part of their activities to build capacity of the women with disabilities, organised a two-day training programme on September 7 and 8 here, stated a press release.
The training was organised to increase understanding of the participants on gender and sexuality and its connections with discrimition of women and women’s rights. The training was organised with support from Sishu Sarothi, an organisation working for the rights of people with disability and North East Network, an organisation working for the rights of women in the North East.
The two-day programmer saw participation from 20 women with cross disability from Guwahati city and around. The participants are from a varied socio-economic background. During the discussions participants talked about discrimitions, violence and violations of rights faced by them. They learnt about gender construction and how the societal imposition of gender roles discrimites women and particularly women with disability.
A participant (me withheld for confidentiality) said,
“We have always known that men and women are treated unequally and we accepted it as normal. But today we learnt how this is done systematically to the disadvantage of women. We will have to work together, come out of our homes and brave the world to end this inequality.”
Issues of lack of opportunities for livelihood, lack of accessible space for entertainment, harassment faced in public spaces including public transport were brought up by the participants as issues faced by them on a daily basis. The network has resolved to work on these issues and advocate for the rights of women with disabilities in the region.
Anurita Pathak Hazarika of NEN who was a resource person in the programme said, “These women are a powerhouse of intellect and experience and we need to channelize that to bring attention to the rights of women with disabilities.”
Silsila Das, a woman with disability, who is the Coorditor of Bijayini , informed, “We have come together to bring up our issues. Even within the disability sector, the issues of women with disability do not get much attention. Bijayani will work to raise public awareness and bring together the women with disability in the North East. We want to work for our rights. We want to get our due recognition as equal members of the society.”