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NCW member parries criticism over panel chief’s lack of study info

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SHILLONG, July 9: Close on the heels of recent media reports about the National Commission for Women (NCW) distancing itself from the 2022 study on the socioeconomic status of single mothers in Meghalaya, Delina Khongdup, a member of the National Commission for Women (NCW), defended NCW chief Rekha Sharma regarding her knowledge of the 2022 study on single mothers in Meghalaya.
Khongdup clarified that the study, initiated in 2018 and funded by the Meghalaya State Commission for Women (MSCW), faced delays due to the pandemic and was only published in 2022.
Khongdup stated, “The NCW Chief was not mistaken when she said that the research was conducted a long time ago.” The study found that among 23,228 households in 122 villages/localities, 3,078 households had single mothers. The study estimated that 13.25% of households had single mothers, totaling 72,759 single mothers in the state. This figure is slightly lower than the 95,841 female-headed households recorded in the 2011 Census.
In light of the rising cases of single mothers in the state, the NCW head has tasked Khongdup with conducting a fresh study.
Speaking to The Shillong Times, Khongdup acknowledged that the previous sample size was relatively small. She announced plans to begin a new study immediately, covering more villages, particularly in the Jaintia Hills and West Khasi Hills.
“Given how the ban on mining rendered many men jobless, leading to addiction and abandonment of families, we will consider a larger sample size this time. This will provide more detailed data for appropriate follow-up actions,” Khongdup said.
She added that she would consult with the NCW and the Meghalaya State Commission for Women (MSCW) to commence the new study without delay.

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