SHILLONG, Dec 03: Women in particular in the state of Meghalaya are in need of improved medical services in the government run medical institutions, an issue which has drawn the attention and concern of the Committee on Women Empowerment (CWE) of the State Assembly.
In this backdrop, the Committee has asked the departments of health and social welfare to address the various issues concerning women in the state.
“We will be zeroing down on methods to ensure that the departments of health and social welfare coordinate to address and redress these issues concerning our women,” the chairperson of the committee, Ampareen Lyngdoh informed after meeting officials from the two departments here on Monday.
She also said the committee will take up with the labour department with regards to women especially those working in the unorganized sector since most of them are deprived of maternity benefits.
Stating that this was despite certain schemes are already in place, Lyngdoh said there is a scheme which specifically been made operational to ensure that compensation on wages is made available to women in the unorganized sector.
“I am made to understand that there are some big institutions like universities and others that are also not allowing their women staff to avail 6 months maternity leave with pay. I am told educational institutions are also not doing it,” she said adding “This is an absolute violation of women’s right as those are all Supreme Court ruling and they must be adhered to.”
Lamenting that crimes against women including rape is yet to be reduced in the state, the chairperson said the committee is alarmed by the fact that women are still vulnerable to various situations and conditions.
“Therefore, as a committee we will take cognizance of any kinds of any attack on any such situation against women and children and we are here to address and to help bring about necessary action on all such cases,” she said.
Expressing concern that the ‘181’ helpline number is not popularly being used by women in distress Lyngdoh said the department concerned has been asked to ensure that one stop crisis centre should be made fully functional.
The committee also recommended the need to set up two more shelter homes for woment in distress at Tura and Jowai.
On the other hand, CWE member and Mawsynram MLA HM Shangpliang informed that the committee has also directed the social welfare department to come forward with projects to assist and help women who have been trafficked and who have come back and join the mainstream as they need to be rehabilitated.
They should look into government projects both centre and state to provide these kinds of assistant to such women, he added.