The growing number of abandoned mothers seeking maintenance for their children from deserting fathers in the state is on the rise, which is a matter of grave concern for Meghalaya State Commission for Women (MSCW).
The recently-appointed chairperson of MSCW, Phidalia Toi, said Meghalaya has the second largest number of mother-headed households in the country as per the 2011 census.
“The number of abandoned mothers seeking maintenance for their children from deserting fathers is on the rise,” Toi said.
She also said that another critical problem women of the state are facing is teenagers begetting children and being subsequently abandoned by their husbands and thus leaving them burdened with heavy responsibilities.
“So apart from helping the abandoned mothers, I would also like to ascertain why a father has no remorse leaving his wife and children,” Toi said.
She said the Commission will holistically work to curb the menace of child abandonment.
Toi also said that the society cannot turn a blind eye to the issue of sex workers just because some don’t like the topic or profession.
“We need to acknowledge that reality is more complex than what we want to see or think,” Toi said.
She said she would seek to find ways to help the sex workers who are at the receiving end of exploitation.
She said that she wants them to be responsible citizens and not to be involved in human trafficking and to see that no underage girls are forced into the trade.
Toi also said that she would try her best to find ways and means to prevent sex workers’ children from falling into the trap and getting sucked into the sex trade as there is no way out for them due to ostracism.
She said the main aim and objective of the Commission is to extend a helping hand to every woman who needs help.
“Its priority is to safeguard women’s interests and to find solutions to the diverse problems faced by them across all walks of life,” Toi said.
The chairperson said that after taking over charge of the MSCW she was overwhelmed by the number of issues the women folks of the state are facing.
“I am yet to understand fully all the intricacies of each problem. I need some time for this,” she said.
She said as the head of the Commission she would first pursue the pending works of the previous commissions.