1st Aug 2018 09:08:PM Editorials
Eastern Sentinel Arunachal News

A recent data released by the Union Ministry of  Labour and Employment proudly claims that women in the North East unlike their counterparts in the mainland are a better working force with 59 per cent women in Mizoram and over 51 per cent in Arunachal Pradesh engaged in income generation activities. However, the data is vague about the kind of activities these women are engaged in. There is no denying the fact that women in the North East, especially in predominantly tribal states, are hard working unlike their counterparts in rest of India. But the common perception that women in the North East are relatively better empowered vis-à-vis their counterparts in the mainland stops there. 
This is because in the process of women empowerment, economic dimension of the empowerment is an important component. For example, the question to be asked is what kind of work women in the North East do when we talk about their better placement in the labour data? Surely, the majority of them are neither in the formal sector nor in services sector. In the nitty gritty of a day-to-day living, majority of the women are engaged in informal sector activities which are not so economically sustainable. True, in the urban centers, for example in Arunachal Pradesh, 17 per cent women are engaged in economic activities as small traders, hoteliers, etc. while over 40 per cent rural women are engaged in back-breaking agricultural activities, the returns from which can hardly sustain them for six months. Should the Union Labour Ministry take pride in that? And are these rural women empowered? 
Many of the states like Meghalaya, Nagaland, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh take pride in the fact that their women enjoy better freedom than from those of the plains. If that is the case, where are all those women law makers in the state legislatures, municipal bodies and other Panchayati Raj institutions? And even as the literacy rate among females is going up in these states, job opportunities are diminishing and in a macho world with patriarchal hegemony still persistent, a fair deal for the fair sex is a far cry, whatever the government data may say.

Kenter Joya Riba

(Managing Editor)
      She is a graduate in Science with post graduation in Sociology from University of Pune. She has been in the media industry for nearly a decade. Before turning to print business, she has been associated with radio and television.
Email: kenterjoyaz@easternsentinel.in / editoreasternsentinel@gmail.com
Phone: 0360-2212313

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