With the picturesque beauty and mesmerising mountains, the Leh area in cold desert Ladakh region has many unique stories to share. When it comes to Ladakh, very few people go beyond its panoramic sights. Hardly anyone knows that the region lying between the frozen mountains of the Himalayas and the Karakoram Range has begun to witness many issues including that to longer periods of water shortages than ever before. Study also shows that the precipitation has become erratic and there is fear of imminent desertification of the area. Srinagar based policy group Ehsaas in association with the Kargil Development Project launched a series of meeting with the women in the region, in order to see what were the major challenges confronting these women. During the workshop, the participating women after sharing their thoughts on the theme were divided into three groups to do the paper work on the issues and also suggest some important measures to cub and tackle them. The participating women argued that expectation level from the women in Leh society is very much high. Issues like dowry, also known as “token of love”; has become a social menace. The tribal people in Leh who used to be rooted into their culture are getting exposed to the Show-off, the world of exhibitionism. While the poor are facing the brunt, the rich are getting worse on this front. The women face issues including jobs for women, relationship between Buddhists and Muslims, girl child, women education, women empowerment and role of women in promoting tourism in Leh region. Caste system is very much prevalent among tribal community in Leh. Women can become the ambassadors for peace and tranquillity if projected well on the national forums. The girls are given due respect in their families; however a lot is to be done to uplift their status in the society. There is a positive side of the women living in this region that the women in Leh have played a vital role in curbing some menace like use of polythene in the Leh city. For women empowerment, government should have to let her be the leader as the women farmers have turned their fate by exceling into farming.
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