First Meeting of ICWM in Aizwal, Mizoram
Updated: Jul 6, 2018
16th June, 2018
Dr. Thuamtei, a professor from the Aizwal Theological College selected the women whom she invited for the first meeting in Mizoram region. She made sure that different churches were represented there - The Presbyterian Church, the Baptist Mission and the Salvation Army. There were two Catholic lady professors who did agree to attend but who did not make it.
We were ten who met in the Presbyterian Synod Hall for our meeting. Of the ten, 7 were professors (at the Theologate and the Mizoram University), there were four in particular with very powerful Government Jobs who were in influential positions and were very keen on helping the movement to see how they could set it up in Mizoram. One had helped to amend the Marriage, Divorce and Inheritance of Property Act in Mizoram, and another was in charge of Panchayati Raj in the State.
We explained the history, vision and objectives of the ICWM and why we felt it important to invite women from different churches to join our movement. We also explained why we had gone all the way to Aizwal, and what we expected of them. On their part they were ready to do whatever they could to help initiate the movement in Aizwal and also further in Mizoram. Aruna made special mention of the National Elections to be held in 2019, and how important it is that we mobilize women to think, discuss and join hands to act collectively, particularly as in the North East as there is so much talk about buying of votes amongst the different Christian Churches.
There was a good sharing that followed of how women in the different Churches are treated, and how we women have internalized that we are second class citizens, this despite the fact that tribal women seem to give the appearance of having much more freedom than most other women in the country.
We spent a very fruitful morning listening to each other with much interest. The women present questioned again and again what they could do… for the movement…how to keep a link with the other units of the country and also if they were expected to work on the local level as well. We emphasized that both levels were just as important.
Two for the women present (Jovi and Thuamtei), agreed to be the link for the ten present, to organize another meeting and thus set the ball rolling.
Many thanks to Thaumtei who worked to set up this meeting. Our grateful thanks to her and all who came despite the squally weather.
- Noella D’Souza & Aruna Gnanadason.