After a serial of interactions, workshops, meetings with local women in affected areas in centers and in village level of Tipaimukh and Tamenglong, on women and the issues around oil exploration. Before implementing activities on this subject, oil has never been a priority concern for women although the fact that they are the guardian of natural resources such as forest, community land and farms. This was because they were not informed; their awareness level was much lower than that of their male counterpart. Most of the women got the information backdoor or only after seeing strangers and big machines moving around their villages. After getting right information on oil issues and how its impacting differently on women, the Joint Women organizations and the Hmar-ram Region Hmar Women Organization (both women collectives) decided to say “Yes or “No” to oil upon having full information, safeguard policies in place for women, and that women are consulted in the process by different stakeholders including State, local government, CSOs and the industry (Jubilant Energy) in the process. The women’s organizations are now in the process of developing their own agenda, independent from CSOs dominated by men and design a coping strategy for women relating to oil exploration on the issues their livelihood, personal security and their rights to information.
Local women are action oriented, they are aware of their importance in steering any kind of movements, taking this opportunity they are well prepared to voice their issues and concerns on women and oil at different levels. The message of the women here is “women are the protector, taking the role of guardianship of land and forest. Nevertheless, when it comes to ownership and decision making they are non-existence. When big projects come in, it’s the men who get the benefit where as women and children experiences the impact of big projects negatively in many ways”