Understanding the problem is half the problem solved. A crucial role in region development is played by Women and Children of that region. Northeastern states have not developed to the potential. A reason which is not paid that much heed is women and children issue. Women do not have much say in political sphere and children are malnourished.
Though a lot of women-centric social evil practices which are commonly practiced in large parts of the country are not prevalent in the Northeast. Evil practices such as dowry, sati, female feticide, honor killing, child marriages are non-existent among the natives of the region. The women there are educated and their presence can be seen in almost every professional sphere.
But still however, unfortunately, inspite of their social and economic equality with the men, they have been politically marginalized and are kept away from the decision making bodies. The scenario in this aspect has not changed much over time. There is a dearth of political awareness among the women folk of the region. The women’s participation in the region’s existing institutional politics has been tactfully excluded. The reservation for woman in local elected bodies has achieved mixed bag of success in terms of bringing woman at par with man in the political sphere. The rotation of reserved posts for woman in these elections does the disservice to whole idea by failing to give the women to establish a stronghold in politics..
Estimates suggest that in the north-east region child under-nutrition (U-5) is quite high (56%), and much worse in states like Meghalaya, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Tripura. However, household and state levels show the interplay of different factors despite the fact that education and wealth stand out among them. Malnutrition in the north-east region rises with the age of the child, a ﬁnding endorsed by other studies as well. Also, size at birth and birth order show signiﬁcant relationship with the children who are malnourished. We see that children of a higher birth order and small size at birth are more prone to being malnourished.
Empowering women politically will make them participant in the prosperity of the region. A well empowered woman can also take care of nutritional demand of pregnant women and their children. . There are many example in the world like European nations which are prosperous because women are politically powerful there. The region where women are well educated but are not in political sphere is an opportunity loss for wellbeing of the region.
S K Awasthi
North East Institute of Advanced Studies , Assam