by Parmi Perera and Thushara Dassanayake
Women’s Empowerment Sri Lanka, affectionately called WE was founded one year ago today with the hope of creating a platform for women of SL heritage, of diverse backgrounds, faiths, and languages to come together and enable and empower each other.
Celebrating International Women’s Day brings focus onto Women’s contributions as well as their needs throughout history.
Through the years, Women have marched forth, overcoming hurdles, sacrificing lives and freedom, with an aim to forge a fairer and more equitable world for all. Here in Britain numerous achievements have been made: right to vote, access to birth control, equal opportunities to education, however with the advancement of the neo-liberal and capitalist agenda we should note that in our very own lifetimes we are witnessing the breakdown of our free health service and free education, moving the future of our daughters and sons seemingly backwards to an age where good healthcare and education will only be accessible to those with money. We are witnessing our children starting their adult lives saddled with up to 50K debt and will soon be witnessing them experience only the healthcare that they can afford.
The pandemic highlighted the overwhelming areas where we have been at a disadvantage: domestic workers with no access to any support to return home, job losses, increases in the number of women resorting to the gig economy and zero- hour contracts, where workers have literally no rights. an increase in domestic abuse and child abuse, extra responsibilities with home schooling and juggling careers, mental health decline. The increasing capitalist agenda deflects financial
funding away from healthcare and social developments. For example developments in technology without adequate research, management or legislation around its sociological effects has resulted in increased virtual presence where people’s online persona and lives becomes more real than their physicality creating issues such as mental health decline, social anxiety, cyber bullying and revenge porn.
It’s 2021 and yet we hear stories of financial, sexual, mental and emotional abuse of women. Humans are the most civilised animals and we have been this way for many centuries, yet we still hear these inhumane treatments of women. Stories we have heard from our grandmothers, mothers and ourselves births Women’s Empowerment Sri Lanka.
WE aspire to empower women to be at the decision making table in all areas of this world, be it at home, in local, national or world politics; in the workplace whether it is healthcare, education, finance, media, law, science and engineering, art, and culture, let it be anything and anywhere. Women’s empowerment Sri Lanka strives to enable female representation in all aspects of decision making, so that decisions about us and our world are made by us.
If you like the sound of who we are and what we do, we’d love you to join us. Just complete the form on our website www.we-sl.org. We look forward to welcoming you to our family.
Check out our international women's day presentation below - a tribute to women who have helped incite changes and fought for women's rights throughout history.