A Women's Movement for Change in Sikkim

Gangtok-Sikkim, India - "A Women's Movement for Real Change" was the theme of a March 8 gathering in the Forest, Environment and Wildlife Management Department's conference hall in the capital of Sikkim.

The emcee, Mrs. Geeta Neraula, a Lecturer at Sikkim Government College, introduced the speakers for the International Women's Day celebration on March 8, and Mr. Nima Tamang, Vice President of UPF-Sikkim, delivered the welcoming speech.

Mr. Krishna Adhikari gave a PowerPoint presentation on UPF’s peace principles and Women for Peace Initiative, stressing the relationship between peace and the upliftment of women. During an interactive forum, three women spoke: Dr. Pushpa Sharma, a Lecturer at the Sikkim Government College and a woman activist; Dr. Doma T. Bhutia, an Advocate and woman activist; and Mrs. Manita Pradhan, a Member of the State Planning Commission.

Mrs. Bharai Sharma, Chairperson of the OBC Council, was appointed an Ambassador for Peace and recognized for her leadership in the Women for Peace Initiative in Sikkim. In response, she expressed her commitment to fulfill the responsibility given her as an Ambassador for Peace and a leader in the Women for Peace Initiative in Sikkim.

Mr. G.M. Gurung, Chairman of UPF-Sikkim, delivered the Chairman’s address. The Chief Guest, Mrs. Kalawati Subba, a Former Minister, Speaker, and Current Member of the State Planning Commission, addressed the audience. She said it was the first time that any organization had organized such a function for the women of Sikkim and gave some background about the women's rights movement. In India, she said, most of the "empowered" women were from leading families and had the advantages of financial resources. The challenge is now to extend those opportunities and rights to a broader range of women.

Mr. Karma Yougyal, Secretary General of UPF-Sikkim, closed by thanking the speakers and audience for their contributions. The event was covered in two local newspapers.

Sikkim is a small state in the mountains of northeast India, located between Nepal and Bhutan.

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