Women March For Change

The Department of Social Work of Martin Luther Christian University joined the rest of the nation in celebrating the Women March for Change that was held throughout India on the 4th of April, 2019, by organising a special programme in collaboration with the North East Network (NEN), Meghalaya, in the University’s premises.

The programme was kick started with an exuberant flash mob by the students through which all the students and faculty of the University were invited to attend the programme.

This was followed by a welcome song performed by the students of the Music Department.

Dr. Samita Baruah of the Department of Social Work, introduced the programme to the attendees with the anthem of the campaign which emphasised on the fact that it is essential for women to stand up and raise their voices in order to stop the atrocities against them.

Deigo R. Sangma, another faculty of the Department, spoke on the context on which the event was held stating that with the onset of the Lok Sabha polls, it is important for people to choose wisely and to choose a government that will champion the causes of women especially the marginalised ones whose voices are discriminated and stifled. He further said that the government should also do something to change the tag of “most unsafe country for women” that India has been voted as in a 2018 poll. Women in the country face numerous problems some of them being killings due to dowry like in the case of the South Indian dowry victim, Tushara, being shamed for their outfits, mob lynching and attacks by the “Romeo squads” who infringe on their right to love. Even in our own state Meghalaya, conditions are no better for women as can be seen from the increasing number of reported cases of rape and other atrocities against women. The government must then come up with effective initiatives to combat all this.

Balarisha Lyngdoh, the Senior Programme Associate, NEN, spoke on women of our region becoming victims of gender inequality in that only 57.3% of women in the region own property. Recent legislative measures even strip off a woman’s property and identity in the event of her marrying outside her tribe. Women also constitute a very small percentage in the national and state workforce. She further stated that women are also not well represented in important agencies like the judiciary, the police or the Parliament. In Meghalaya, 45.3% women reported of having experienced sexual harassment in their workplaces. The women also get unequal pay even when working in MGNREGA. Lyngdoh concluded by saying it is high time to stop normalising violence in all spheres of life. She also encouraged the participants to take an active stand against so called private matters like domestic violence by not only reporting such cases but by intervening themselves.

Samanda Phanwar, the Project Coordinator of Lamjingshai, an NGO of the region, spoke about the NGO’s work with commercial sex workers and transgenders. The NGO targets this specific group because they are potential spreaders of HIV/AIDS. The commercial sex workers also lack basic credentials like an EPIC card. However, what the NGO does the most in relation to them is making efforts to remove the stigma and discrimination that is inevitably attached to them and their profession. The NGO also works actively with the transgenders who are ostracised from everywhere, including their families. One of the measures that Lamjingshai takes to help these two vulnerable groups of people is the constitution of a legal rights forum that aids the members of these groups in their legal matters free or at a minimal cost.

Balari Warjri, an MSW graduate of MLCU, gave a presentation on the findings of her research work on commercial sex workers. In her research, it was found out that sex workers live under dire conditions earning very meagre incomes. However, their worst problem is the discrimination that they face right from their own families to the societies they live in. They also have no access to social facilities like ration cards and are looked down upon even in social institutions like the church and schools. Hence, there is an urgent need to provide them with alternate means of livelihood.

Another MSW graduate of the University, Medaaihunshisha Talang presented the findings of her research on antenatal care of pregnant women and found that many pregnant women, especially in the rural areas of the region, do not get proper antenatal care because of various factors, some of them being the negligence of the health workers and the prevalence of traditional faith healers.

The BSW 4th Semester students also presented two Photo Essays prepared during their recent trip to Thyllaw village.

The programme ended with each attendee taking a pledge to make efforts to help end discrimination of women.

Mission Statement

To contribute to the sustainable development of Meghalaya and Northeast India, by providing knowledge, skills and values that will enable our students to become global citizens while upholding gender, ethnic and religious equity for all, conserving its bio-cultural heritage, and  by recognizing its Christian legacy and commitment .

Student's Pledge

We the incoming/outgoing students of the Martin Luther Christian University vow to always uphold the principles of Honesty, Sustainability, Tolerance and Respect, Quality, Perseverance, Humility, Teamwork, Leadership, Accountability and Recognition as upheld to us in the University. This pledge we make freely, fully understanding that these values will make us good humans and role models.

Contact Details

Martin Luther Christian University
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Nongrah, Shillong 793006
Ph: 0364-2535437/6009602012

E-mail: admin@mlcuniv.in , registrar@mlcuniv.in, admissions@mlcuniv.in
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