The Hmar Women Collectively Fights for Their Rights
Hmar Women Association (HWA) Tipaimukh region is a conglomeration of women CBO’s across Tipaimukh areas with each villages serving as a federal unit. The HWA as a women organization plays a vital role in safeguarding and managing the land and resources of the tribal community. Last year, CENRs conducted 2 trainings for the members. In a Patriarchal tribal society, all important decision is taken by the men who took the mantle of leadership in all development spheres for the community. However lack of development in the area after all this year frustrated the women and this challenge them to take up development issue in their hands.
With a definite goal and approach set clearly, they set a task before them and joined hands to usher change and development. The first priority they focus on was to check and reduce intoxicants which caused a social problem in this remote area. They deal firmly against people peddling drugs and who abuse them. They received wide support and cooperation which make them want to take up bigger issue. One of their major concerns is the increase of domestic violence as a result to corporate activities that give minimum wages to husbands who spend less time in the farms and home with their wives and children but rather spend their income on alcohols
The HWA upon getting the knowledge that no objection certificates are being issued to the jubilant company, they seriously object and upon the expiry of 1 yr, they prevailed upon the men not to further issue the no- objection certificate which they complied. The women also strongly advocate for efficient management of resources in the area.
In 2014, the HWA leaders met the concern MLA and Chief Secretary of the state 2 times and submit a memorandum for immediate improvement of National Highway 150 leading to Tipaimukh and electrification of the villages in and around Tipaimukh which the high ranking official promised prompt action. As a result of this, highway improvement work progressed and electric poles and wires are being transported to the area which was set to complete this year. The Highway is the only lifeline of the area and the last time a major repair undertaken was during the 80’s and surprising, in spite of just 260 kms from the district headquater, Tipaimukh does not have electric connection and almost all modern amenities are absent without any sign of governance.
The HWA also advocate for the inauguration of the Autonomous District council in the Area which was postponed 2 times. Partly because of their intervention, the ADC was inaugurated at Pherzawl village in December 2014. All these new developments happen due to the active intervention of the women in the area. The President of HWA, Ms Lienthangkim confidently said, ‘the basic reason why we venture out to pursue development work in our area is due to lack of results in the work done by men folk. There is no development at all but we the women felt the consequences. That is why we want to get involved in. The small changes that we have seen inspires the women to march ahead and take development in our hands.
In their last meeting in Dec 2014, HWA Hmar ram region made a strong statements; “ enough is enough, we have been trusting our men for so long to bring about actual development in the area but we are nowhere today. So, now women will take development in our hand especially on issues around oil exploration in the area. With this they have developed women’s agenda specifically on oil and natural resources issues.