Colombo, 19 January 2023 (TDI): A women’s development officer, Nirosha Rathnayake, observed that women face increasing challenges. She is working on a project titled Implementation of the Women, Peace, and Security Agenda in Sri Lanka.

Nirosha Rathnayake is a women’s development officer at the District Secretariat of Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka

The duration of the afore-mentioned project is three-year. It is pertinent to note that the project is funded by the Government of Japan.

Financial Dependency and Insecurity

She said that women face many problems. That includes financial dependency and concerns about safety and security. There are many women along with their children that are facing financial issues because their spouses left them.

Even young girls are facing such kinds of issues. There is one safehouse built in the area with the support of a non-governmental organization for women. Homeless women and girls are living in this safe house.

Women are facing many issues of such kind. These issues are increasing at an alarming rate. But no meaningful measures are employed due to inadequate funding.

UN Women’s Training Programme

The UN Women’s training programme on women, peace, and security taught women how to work together in an emergency and handle such cases including instances of violence against women and girls.

In this programme candidates also learned how harmful gender norms perpetuate discrimination and violence against women and girls.

This kind of knowledge is quite helpful not only for the officials but also for the entire society. Women in Sri Lanka have faced war for 30 years. Now women are facing a new crisis related to gender inequality.

Society thinks that women have no right or power to make decisions. Only man is entitled to that. But there is a need to change such norms, which are halting the empowerment of women.

Challenging such norms would help women to support take their life into their hands. Nirosha Rathnayake further said that education and insights about gender equality are necessary to address these challenges and problems.

Moreover, there is a need to strengthen institutional capacity. This can be done by adopting national policies such as the National Action Plan on women, peace, and security.

UN Women has provided technical assistance to plan and formulate Sri Lanka’s first-ever National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security. The plan aims to respond to the needs of women that are impacted by conflict.

It also highlights the significance of women’s participation in maintaining peace and security and addressing the structural gender inequalities in the country.