Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir National Conference Party Vice President Mr. Omar Abdullah on Thursday presided over a virtual meeting of the party’s women’s wing (Kashmir Province). The virtual meeting was convened by J&K Women’s Wing President Shameema Firdous. Provincial President (K) Er. Sabiya Qadri read out the welcome address and presented the agenda of the meeting.
The meeting was conducted virtually through video conferencing mode. Party’s ten Women district presidents, functionaries participated in the meeting in the real-time virtual interaction from Nawa-e-Subha, Srinagar.
Those who attended the meeting through virtual mode include party General Secretary Ali Muhammad Sagar, Provincial President Nasir Aslam Wani, Provincial Spokesperson Imran Nabi Dar and YNC Provincial President (K) Salman Ali Sagar.
During the course of meeting the women’s wing district presidents of Kashmir province gave an estimation of the political situation prevailing in their respective areas. They also gave detailed appraisal of the ravaging impact of ongoing Covid-19 crises on the varied economic activities in their respective constituencies necessitating policy rethink towards women’s roles as financial providers.
Among other issues, soaring unemployment rates, high-handedness of bureaucracy, sinking tourism and agriculture sectors and widespread development deficit and unaccountability also dominated the interaction. The women functionaries’ highlighted how the long-drawn-out Covid-19 crises took toll on the women working in the formal as well as informal sectors and how harmful the global pandemic has proved to women folk especially those who are singularly providing for families by working in handicrafts and other services sector.
Interacting with the women functionaries, Party Vice President Mr. Omar Abdullah alluded to the current trend of mistreatment of citizens by bureaucrats stating that one of the developments post 2019 measures have been emergence of a bureaucratic setup mostly nonlocal and unconnected, who he said have become authority unto themselves in wake of the dilution of a viable democratic system in JK. “Here we have a man being jailed for saying that he can’t have expectations from non-local officers. The incident should not be seen in isolation. It is a reality that the local populace is faced with post 2019 measures. The bureaucracy has become a government with a totally abysmal record of serving people, primarily because of their unfamiliarity with the local sensitivities, topography and other critical ground realities,” he said.
Emphasising the instrumental role of vaccination in checking COVID-induced fatality, Omar exhorted the women functionaries concerned to partner the administration as a social responsibility in overcoming vaccine hesitation among people, especially women. “Our women functionaries can volunteer in convincing people to take the jab, and work alongside their district administration, including health department officials to achieve the universal vaccination drive by helping break the myths involving the vaccination, ” he said.
Exhorting the women functionaries, Omar called for increasing the involvement of women in politics to help attune the policies and development agenda to the needs and requirements of women, who he said forms the 50 percent of our society. “It was the dream of Sheikh Sahib and Madre Meharban to see women partake in the decision making process. We need more women in the democratic spaces to lend voice to the voiceless. I am sure once the pandemic crises subside, the women’s wing functionaries will restart the membership drive and take it to block and Halqa level.”
Omar said the idea of ushering peace and prosperity in Jammu and Kashmir is elusive until infringed rights of the people of JK aren’t restored. “Our party as a peace loving party will continue to fight the battle for the restoration of our rights constitutionally, peacefully.”
Interacting with the functionaries Shameema Firdous said, “Sher e Kashmir brought women of Jammu and Kashmir into the political discourse. It was NC that took upon itself to change the fate of women of J&K under its revolutionary Naya Kashmir manifesto. In the later decades also, whenever NC was in power, it left no stone unturned to transform its vision of empowering women into reality. It was Madre Meharban, who used education as a fundamental tool to bring about change in the attitude of women on the line of the vision enshrined in the Naya Kashmir document.”
She also said that the party was working on improving Women’s involvement in politics. “The ratio of women is significantly lower than that of their male counterparts in the Democratic spaces.” She added that the party’s women wing was leaving no stone unturned to increase the participation of women in politics.