Men can be allies in the fight for gender equality

BY | Friday, 8 March, 2024

On this International Women’s Day, Nagaland Tribune had the privilege of engaging in enlightening discussions with prominent figures from various professions, shedding light on the significance of the occasion and the ongoing battle for gender equality.

In an exclusive interview with Nagaland Tribune, Thungbeni Ngullie, President of Lotha Eloe Hoho delved into the significance of International Women’s Day. She emphasized the dual purpose of International Women’s Day, highlighting its role in celebrating women’s achievements and addressing gender inequality. Ngullie also urged women to unite, stand up for their rights, and prioritize empowerment.

Sangmou Khiamniungan, EAC Wokha mentioned  that celebrating International Women’s Day symbolizes breaking free from traditional shackles and embracing progress towards gender equality.

“Holding to traditional practices or beliefs can often impede progress towards gender equality by denying women their rights and opportunities. As societies evolve, it’s essential to adapt and address the changing needs and demands of the time,” said Khiamniungan.

The Administrator also acknowledged the impact of modernity which has shown the effectiveness of kindness and diplomacy in maintaining harmony and status. “It will be even more beautiful to derive the meaning of International Women’s day celebration as the culmination and achievement of breaking the traditional shackles. For furtherance of women political rights in Nagaland, one-third of seat reservation for women has been retained and to improve the economy, the participation of women proved crucial. On this realisation, some initiatives such as SHGs have been introduced to encourage women participation in economy,” added Khiamniungan.

He also asserted that true empowerment stems from individuals making conscious choices to pursue their own empowerment, requiring effort, determination, and a willingness to take control of one’s life and opportunities. While government initiatives can offer support and resources, Sangmou emphasized that the decision to seize those opportunities and empower oneself ultimately rests with the individual.

Wonjano C. Khuvung, Headmistress Fernbrook School Wokha

“Being a woman myself, it really feels great to have a special day for women where are appreciated and honoured. But I feel that women should be respected not just because they are women, but also because they are individuals with their own identity. They contribute equally to the betterment of society,” viewed Khuvung.

As the world celebrates women, the Headmistress opined that it is important to cherish the blessings of being a woman. “There are times in life where we feel that we are the only ones making sacrifices or who have to make sacrifices, who have to let go off their feelings and dreams for others linked to us, but it is just the result of the power that God has given to us. God created the feminine creature as a symbol of utmost affection that not only leads the perfect life for herself but also lays down the strongest for others to dream as well. Women’s Day for me, is just a hault that makes me pause and realise the efforts we are putting in throughout the rest of the days,” said Khuvung.

“There is no stance in which women are less in comparison to men. It is just our mindset for which changing our mindset and prompt actions will lead us towards great height of our dreams and further let the world believe in us and our deeds. Cheers to Womanism! Happy Women’s Day to all the incredible and beautiful women,” added the educator.

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Aruna Markose, National Institute of Rural Development & Panchayati Raj

For Aruna Markose, International Women’s Day is deeply connected to Socialist Feminism. “It symbolizes the ongoing fight of working-class women against capitalism, oppression, and discrimination worldwide. Originally, it emerged as a tribute to the collective efforts of working-class women in their struggle against capitalism. Women’s Day, also known as Working Women’s Day, serves as a moment of global solidarity and reflection on the resilience and organization of women in the workforce. It’s a day to acknowledge the challenges we face and celebrate our strength in the ongoing pursuit of equality and justice,” said Markose.

Markose draws inspiration not just from a single woman but from a multitude of both women and men who have touched her life. “Among them is my hardworking mother, always exploring new things regardless of her age. My sisters, who never made me feel the weight of gender differences. My father, who treated us as individuals, providing us with a world of books and encouraging exploration. My brother-in-law, a steadfast support to my sister during her higher studies, who respects her every decision. These individuals inspire me daily. Additionally, I draw inspiration from all women who have stood up for others throughout history, from figures like Rosa Luxemburg to everyday heroes who is around me, like the news reporter who asked me, “Who inspires you?”” stated Markose.


Being a woman, for Markose, entails facing significant challenges within patriarchal institutions like families and workplaces, navigating a multitude of hurdles daily. Besides, women undergo physical, emotional, postpartum, and various other changes. “Each waking day presents its own set of challenges, with each month and lifetime marked by continuous struggles. The challenges range from the sole responsibility of deciding “what to cook today” to contemplating “what to cook tomorrow,” irrespective of their profession, whether they are ministers or housewives. I also share the sentiment that in India, initiatives to narrow the gender gap appear to be diminishing. It seems as though women are left to address these challenges on their own, without the necessary support or concerted efforts from broader initiatives,” remarked Markose.

Anuranjan Singh, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship

“Drawing from my experience in Wokha District of Nagaland, where I’ve observed women as the main economic driving force, men can be allies in the fight for gender equality by actively advocating for policies that promote women’s participation in decision-making roles, both at home and in society. This includes supporting initiatives such as the reservation of seats for women in Urban Local Bodies (ULBs), as seen in recent developments in Nagaland, and championing equal opportunities for women in education, employment, and leadership positions, “ viewed Anuranjan Singh.

According to Singh, workplaces can promote inclusivity and support women’s advancement by implementing gender-sensitive policies and practices that recognize and accommodate the unique needs and challenges faced by women. “This includes offering flexible work arrangements, providing mentorship and networking opportunities, and ensuring equal pay for equal work. Additionally, creating a culture of respect, diversity, and zero tolerance for discrimination or harassment can foster an environment where women feel valued, empowered, and supported to thrive in their careers,” stated Singh.

“To the women of Nagaland, I applaud your resilience and dedication as the backbone of our communities and economy. Your hard work and contributions are invaluable, and you deserve equal opportunities, recognition, and respect. Remember that you are capable of achieving anything you set your mind to, and don’t hesitate to pursue your dreams and aspirations,” stated Singh appealing for the continuance to challenge stereotypes, break barriers, and build a more equitable and inclusive society where every woman can thrive and succeed.

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