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Press Communique

Women Groups formed in Ukhrul to Mitigate Racial Discrimination and Gender Based Violence

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Women Groups Successfully formed in Ukhrul District of Manipur to Mitigate Racial Discrimination and Gender Based Violence with focus on Sexual Violence in Conflict Zones

Manipur is a tiny state located in India's Northeast with just over two million inhabitants belonging to 39 ethnic groups and communities. Over 20,000 people have been killed in the last five decades due to ongoing conflict and ethnic tension. Women and children of Manipur suffer most in this conflict. Many women have become impoverished after the killings of male relatives, who have been working for the survival of the family. Apart from that, women themselves are particularly vulnerable to violence and intimidation at gunpoint, often used as a deliberate military and political tactic. Also, women and girls continue to be tortured, raped and killed at gunpoint. Due to ongoing conflict Manipur has more than 20,000 registered widows.

To address the issue, Control Arms Foundation of India along with Manipur Women Gun Survivors Network in collaboration with D. P Chamroy Foundation, Ukhrul District, Manipur conducted a Group Formation Meeting: Towards Mitigating Racial Discrimination and Gender Based Violence with focus on Sexual Violence in Conflict areas of Manipur on 13 February 2017 at Mayotang, Phungreitang East, Ukhrul District, Manipur.

Ms Binalakshmi Nepram, Founder, Manipur Gun Survivors Network, gave an overview on the ongoing conflict situation, sexual violence and racial discrimination happening in as well as outside the state and emphasized on the need to stop the same with collective effort. Ms Felicita Songvah, Chairperson, D.P Chamroy Foundation highlighted the prevailing conflict situation in Ukhrul resulting in widowhood of many women and orphaned of many children and also shared the work of Chamroy Foundation. Chamroy Foundation was formed in memory of 2 people namely Daniel Chamroy and Paul Chamroy who were abducted by the Indian Army and never returned back. Sword Chamroy, President, Chamroy Foundation, was also present at the event.

On the occasion, 6 women groups that consist of 10 -15 members were formed namely Ngachorin Women's Group, Ningrin Greenland Women's Group, Khamasom Phumdher Mather Group, Reisang Yar Women Group, Mashit Women Group and Khokkha Yar Women Group.

The women groups were made aware of the issues on ways to mitigate and respond racial discrimination and gender based violence particularly sexual violence in the area. They were also taught in the importance of group formation, strengthening groups and working together in order access their entitlements and rights in the proper channel.

Around 50 conflict affected vulnerable and marginalised women and youth from different areas of Ukhrul District participated at the event. The women group will be further trained on Legal Rights, Women Rights particularly how to respond to sexual violence, to access Government Social Welfare Schemes, Skill Up-gradation for Economic Empowerment as well as promotion of peaceful coexistence through diversity.

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