Domestic workers hold their white roses as they attend a ceremony in Kohima ahead of International Women’s Day on Saturday Credit: EastMojo image

Kohima: A day ahead of International Women’s Day on Saturday, domestic workers in Kohima marked the event through a small ceremony organised by the Ferrando Domestic Workers’ Alliance (FDWA), a non-profit organisation that empowers the community.

Held at the Catholic Association of Nagaland (CAN) building in Kohima on Saturday, domestic workers who attended the gathering were greeted with white roses. Saying that every woman deserves to be greeted, FDWA Kohima city’s Sr Theresa Langhu lauded the “vulnerable, unheard and unspoken” section of the society. She added how this day celebrates the recognition of these women for excelling in their respective field.

Assistant Labour Commissioner, Avile Vitso, handing over white roses to the domestic workers.

Assistant labour commissioner Avile Vitso, in her keynote address, said that women must realise their worth. As the state joins the rest of the world to celebrate womanhood and their achievements, she urged the need to raise awareness about women’s rights and equality.

Highlighting this year’s theme “I am generation equality: realizing women’s rights”, she said that International Women’s Day celebrates women achievements — from the political to the social aspect, while calling for gender equality. Recounting how the day was observed since the early 1900s, she pointed that the day was recognised on March 8 by the United Nations in 1975.

Sr Theresa Langhu, Coordinator FDWA, along with the domestic workers and others during the celebration of International Women’s Day in Kohima on Saturday.

Emphasising on how the ‘Generation Equality’ campaign is bringing together people of every gender, age, ethnicity, race, religion and country to drive action, she said that this will create the “gender equal world we all deserve”. “This year, we celebrate our day by advocating women’s rights to equality: equal pay for equal work, equal right to education, social and economic justice, religious rights, health rights, etc, We also stand against gender-based violence, sexual harassment, domestic violence, workplace harassment,” she added.

Urging women to stand together against any form of violence and exploitation against women, she said that one must realize the strength of being a woman. “Let us celebrate the women that we are, created by the same God who created man, equal in His eyes.”

She then said that women have equal right to fulfill dreams, get education, build careers, build homes, achieve aims, earn livelihood, live independent lives, freely partake in religious and social activities, participate in politics, freely express thoughts and live confidently without fear.

Domestic workers of Ronjali Group presenting a song during the occasion

“Let us take a resolution today to take care of our girl child/daughter/sisters and give them equal opportunities with as much love and respect as we do our sons/brothers,” she urged, following which all domestic workers in attendance raised hands to take the resolution.

Attended by domestic workers, the ceremony was chaired by Floret Sekhose, PS to Advisor DUDA, Sekhose. The FDWA Kohima city has so far identified 630 domestic workers in the state’s capital. Divided into 15 groups, these workers engage in activities that uplift them.

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