40th foundation day cum general body meeting at Don Bosco Youth Centre in Itanagar on Thursday.

Itanagar: Arunachal Pradesh needs independent protection officers appointed by the government to check domestic violence cases, said Arunachal Pradesh State Commission for Women (APSCW) chairperson Radhilu Chai. She said this during the 40th foundation day cum general body meeting of Arunachal Pradesh Women’s Welfare Society (APWWS) at Don Bosco Youth Centre in Itanagar on Thursday.

She also informed that the commission registers highest number of domestic violence cases and its increasing day-by-day.

An independent protection officer will dedicatedly work for cases related to domestic violence unlike a CDPO who takes care of each and every case hence forth several cases are pending because of too much of work load on one officer. The government should allocate independent funds for the protection officer, the chairperson said.

Talking about polygamy, the APWW) said that persons with multiple wives should not be given tickets for the panchayat and the legislative assembly elections.

Advocating ‘one man, one wife’ status, the APWWS also said that the Central Civil Services (Conduct) Rules should be implemented in the state to stop further practice of polygamy and adultery by government employees. It said that rich and well-qualified officers in the state have indulged in such practices, and that many families would be saved from distress if the rule is implemented.

The APWWS submitted a representation in this regard to Arunachal Pradesh State Commission for Women (APSCW) Chairperson, Radhilu Chai Techi, during the foundation day celebration.

While submitting the resolution, which was drawn up during the two-day event – which was also attended by APWWS branch members from other parts of the state — outgoing APWWS CEC president, Dipti Bengia Tadar, urged the APSCW to pursue the government to set up more de-addiction centres in the districts with high incidences of drug addiction, with all the required facilities.

It also called for establishing more women police stations and shelter homes, saying the crime rate, sex work and substance abuse are on the rise.

The APWWS further said that setting up liquor shops near schools should be banned, and that local alcoholic brews should not be encouraged, as it has the same effect as foreign liquor.

The APWWS also urged the commission to organise a ‘mass awareness-cum-debate/discussion’ with various stakeholders on the tribal customary practices on property rights and land acquisition rights/lease.

Meanwhile, the APSCW chairperson said that the state government should implement 33 percent reservation for women in government jobs. She also called for 50 percent reservation for women in the PRIs, and 33 percent reservation in the state legislature.

“Political empowerment is needed for women empowerment,” Techi said.

She further said that compulsory registration of marriage “is a must to control polygamy and child marriages”.

The APSCW chairperson also said that “the time has come for all stakeholders to come together to discuss inheritance rights for women”.

Techi also lamented that while cases of domestic violence are reported regularly in the state, there are no independent protection officers to look into cases of violence against women. She said the government should allocate funds for appointment of protection officers, adding that cases of crimes against women and children in the state are alarming.

Techi further said that “the government is not consulting the commission on women-related issues”.

AIGP (PHQ) Chandan Chaudhary, who also attended the event, acknowledged the role of the APWWS in curbing child marriages in the state. She said gender roles are assigned by the families, and that it needs to change. “We should teach our sons to take up household responsibilities,” she said, adding: “Women still have to balance professional and domestic work.”

“The greatest responsibility lies with the women, as they are the creators of the future. Women should support one another,” she said.

Meanwhile, the APWWS will be led by Gumri Ringu as president and Kani Nada Maling as its secretary-general.

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