CONFERENCE: Discussing the Women, Peace and Security Agenda in Sri Lanka

Friday, July 20, 2012
Southern Asia
Sri Lanka

An N-Peace review and work planning meeting in Colombo, organized by UNDP and Search for Common Ground last week, was attended by civil society organizations working at national and district level - including Jaffna, Mannar and Kandy – along with government representatives from the Ministry of Child Development and Women's Affairs, and staff from the UN system. They discussed the challenges faced by women in Sri Lanka and mapped current interventions at the national and regional levels relevant to the women, peace and security agenda. Challenges outlined include the need for better coordination and collaboration amongst non-governmental organizations and other stakeholders, greater understanding of grassroots women's needs; strengthened protection mechanisms; wider sensitivity to violence against women; increased access to services to address psychological challenges faced by women victims of sexual violence. The consultation helped to identify priority actions such as legislation to support gender equality, implementation of National Action Plan on Women; coordination and forums or coalition working on women, peace and security issues engaging multiple stakeholders – from civil society, diaspora, grassroots, national level, youth, and supportive groups – to work on advocacy and monitoring of policy implementation; promotion of young women's leadership and political participation; and the sensitization of men to women's issues.