Origin of the Northeast India Women Initiative for Peace
For more than a century women and women’s organisations and movements have mobilised in support of social empowerment, economic justice, democracy, human rights and conflict prevention. It started as early as April 28, 1915 for the first time in history when nearly 1,200 women called “International Congress for Women” from warring and neutral countries came together to protest the conflict at The Hague in Holland.
In India’s Northeast, women have always played a major role in many peace and social movements. Concepts of solidarity amongst women’s groups, are very strong in the region. This is often illustrated in the existence of self-help groups, traditional cooperative systems, women’s markets and other forms of cooperative village action. Women’s contribution in the economic sphere is great and women have some amount of economic autonomy.
Our work on Northeast India Women Initiative for Peace aims to draw a blue print for women in Northeast India to strategise at the end of the project an Action Plan of rebuilding peace, provide justice and political rights in a society already ruptured by years of conflict. It will look at all the plans drawn up at the local, national and international level to end violence against women and see in what way women in Northeast can use the knowledge and empower themselves.
Please join us in our unique effort for peace in India's Northeast Region.
Northeast Women Initiative for Peace (NEIWIP) is a network of women organizations that are working for peace in the northeast region of India. Northeast India comprising of the eight states of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and Sikkim is facing the onslaught of multiple armed conflicts since the late 1940s. A level of militarization has engulfed India’s Northeast under the garb of insurgency and counter-insurgency. And in the process women are assaulted, humiliated, raped and murdered during conflicts which are not of their making.
NEIWIP brings together women from all over Northeast states to strategize an action plan to strategise an action plan for building peace, providing justice and political rights in the region ruptured by years of conflict.
The network was formed on 13 June 2009 with the following objectives:
To provide opportunity to bring together women from all walks of life including peace makers, academicians, researchers, policy makers, lawyers, social activist and students to share knowledge, raise issues, to listen to one another and determine ways to promote peace in the region.
- To strategise an action plan for building peace, providing justice and political rights in a society ruptured by years of conflict.
- To pressurize the government into 'sincere dialogue' with the insurgent groups to end recurring armed violence.
- To find solutions to promote empowerment of women in the region by involving them in decision making.
- To analyse and recommend the best ideas to the Government of India promote peace in the region.
ORGANIZATIONS PART OF FIRST MEETING ON WOMEN PEACE INITIATIVE
2. India International Centre (IIC)
3. North East Network (NEN)
4. Foundation for Social Transformation, Guwahati, Assam (FST)
5. Gandhi Peace Foundation, New Delhi (GPF)
6. Feminist Approach to Technology (FAT)
7. South Asia Peace Alliance (SAPA)
8. Manipur Student Association, Delhi (MSAD)
9. Ministry of Development of Northeast India Region
10. Control Arms Foundation of India (CAFI)
N.B. Besides representatives from the above mentioned organizations and institutions, over sixty women and men from different states of Northeast India attended the conclave.