The International Movement against- All Forms of Discrimination and Racism Asia Committee
1) GENDER BUDGET TRAINING
IMADR facilitated gender budget training activities to women leaders who are interested in contesting local government elections. Several workshops were held in Colombo, Kandy, Hambanthota and Jaffna.
2) INFORMATION, EDUCATION AND COMMUNICATION TOOLS
With the help of our consultant Ms Sharmila Daluwatte the following tools were prepared as education materials for women activists involved in politics and aspiring to receive nominations and community leaders to assist them in leadership development and effective participation.
- Gender Budget Tool
- Campaign Tools
- Gender Training Guidelines
3) POLICY DIALOGUE
On 2nd and 3rd September 2015, with the participation of 196 (178 women politicians/ political aspirants plus 18 women civil society leaders), the first advocacy and consultative meeting was held at the BMICH (Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall) Colombo. The guest of honor was the former UN Special Rapporteur for Children and Armed Conflict and the nominee to the Constitutional Council of Sri Lanka, Dr Radika Coomaraswamy. Dr Coomaraswamy facilitated a session on “Women and Conflict” and explained about the role that women can play during and after conflicts and violence and the importance of transitional justice. A series of discussions and consultations was conducted by the panelists (Dr Radika Coomaraswamy, Dr Nimalka Fernando, and Mrs Shanthini Kongahage/ Provincial Councilor – Central Province) on the topics such as women leadership, and political campaigning.
4) WORKSHOP ON ‘RIGHT TO WOMEN’S POLITICAL PARTICIPATION IN SRI LANKA’
A two day residential programme at Sri Lanka Foundation Institute was held on 2nd and 3rd March 2015, Colombo, with participation of 40 women. The resource persons were Dr Nimalka Fernando, MrsShamilaDaluwatta (Attorney-at-law), Mrs Lalitha Dissanayake (Foremer Secretary of the Ministry of Women Affairs, Sri Lanka), and Mrs Nalini Ratnarajah (Women’s Rights Activist).
5) CAMPAIGNS ON VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN
- The International Women’s Day campaign on 08th March 2015 was conducted with over 525 participants which included women political representatives (from the Parliament, Provincial Councils, and Municipal and Local Government bodies), and women activists and women leaders of civil society organizations and Community Based Organizations.
- On 10th December 2016 a campaign was launched coinciding with 16 days of activism on VAW and HR Day at the independence square with around 300 women. Second generation women leaders were encouraged to join this event from different backgrounds and networks.
- Policy Brief for Implementing the national human rights action plan – reducing violence against women
“Rights of Women” is one of the eight thematic areas in the National Action Plan for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights 2011-2016 (National Human Rights Action Plan/NHRAP). A key Focus Area/Goal under this thematic area is reducing violence against women, and a number of Activities are identified to achieve this goal along with Key Performance Indicators, Responsible Agencies and Timeframes. A policy brief was prepared to assist advocacy related to improving the action plan of the NHAP. This policy brief aims to highlight some of the most urgent of these Activities. The policy brief links the relevant NHRAP Activities to the corresponding recommendations in the CEDAW Committee’s latest Concluding Observations on Sri Lanka (2011).
6) STUDY TOURS
- Learning from Panchayath – India
One exposure programme for the empowerment of political women, to South Asian countries, aimed at imparting knowledge of existing good practices and systems were organized. Seven women leaders visited Nepal and India during this semester visiting women’s organizations and networks involved in promoting women’s political participation. Meetings were arranged for the women leaders to meet with elected representatives in local panchayats and district level councils in these two countries.
7) EDUCATION ON NEWLY ENACTED LOCAL GOVERNMENT ACT
A programme was held at the Ecumenical Institute of Study and Dialogue (EISD), Colombo, and it educated 40 women politicians who have been the elected members of local government bodies across the country and prospective candidates in the upcoming election. The participants were educated on the nature of the newly enacted Local Government Act. The resource persons were Dr Nimalka Fernando, and Mr Rohana Hettiarachchi (Executive Director/ PAFFREL).
8) LOCAL GOVERNANCE, DEMOCRATIC AND HUMAN RIGHTS CHALLENGES
- IMADR Asia Committee with the support of Women’s Political Academy had facilitated training and empowering 250 women to contest the Local Government Election held on 10th November 2018. 100 women of the 250 have been elected to serve in the LG bodies island wide. A two days meeting was held with the same representatives at Janaki Hotel covering relevant issues related to Human Rights, TJ and Compliances of Sri Lanka to CERD/CEDAW/UPR and the importance of compliances in relation to Constitutional making process.
- A meeting was held with the participants included 100 representing newly elected members to the Local Government Institutions in February 2018. The action took note of the need to critically review the participation of women at the leadership level in the on-going civil society campaigns related to constitutional reforms/transitional justice as local leaders and to enhance their participation at the governance and decision making level. At this meeting it was agreed to further develop a special skills development programme educating a core team of women to effectively intervene in the campaigns organised by NMNC. During this meeting the networks decided to identified women’s speakers who can join in these campaigns at the district level and enhance their oratorical ability.
9) THE CAMPAIGN TO REFORMING THE MUSLIM MARRIAGE AND DIVORCE ACT (MMDA).
The issue is related to the impact of religion in the lives of women which reflects our gender rights advocacy. The representative attended the Side Event held in Geneva on Minority Women in March 2017.
10) CAMPAIGN TO PROMOTE JUDICIAL REVIEW OF EXISTING LAWS AFFECTING HUMAN RIGHTS OF COMMUNITIES
A campaign was held to promote judicial review of existing laws affecting human rights of communities when drafting the new Constitution. Particular reference was made to the existence of Personal Law regime in Sri Lanka which has both religious and cultural tradition
11) DIALOGUE ON WOMEN AFFECTED BY WAR
Networking with Mothers and Daughters of Lanka promoting Minority Women and Transitional Justice supporting two days dialogue with women affected by war from North and East. Community dialogues for women were also held 17 March 2017 at CEC, Malabe and 4 February 2017 at the Janawaboda Centre Negombo.
The Asia Committee was formed to strengthen networking in South Asia and promote core values of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and promote compliance.