On Wednesday, April 6, 2022, we had the privilege of meeting a team of women who have committed themselves to protecting and empowering women and girls victimized by sexual and gender-based violence in Sri Lanka. Women In Need –since its inception in 1988, has saved hundreds of thousands of women and girls from life-threatening abuse, mostly those faced with domestic violence.
Violence against women is a violation of human rights, which has stifled the development of women and girls in Sri Lanka.
Today, WIN as they are fondly called is a nationally recognized non-governmental organization located in 6 Districts, providing key crisis intervention support for women and girls through psychological counseling, legal advice, court representation, and emergency shelter facilities absolutely free of charge for some of the most vulnerable people of Sri Lanka.
They have a professional team of dedicated psychological counselors, lawyers, and social workers working and engaging with multiple stakeholders and pushing boundaries to ensure the safety and security of women and girls victimized by sexual and gender-based violence, while also advocating for the recognition and exercise of their rights as human rights to prevent this grave violation of human rights.
On our visit to WIN; SLF’s President Dishan Jayasinha M.D., Mrs. Zuigly Jayasinha, and Ms. Achala Weerasinghe – Director of Cultural Affairs; were able to hear real-life stories of survivors, and learn of the inequality and discrimination women from multiple ethnicities faced, given the many genders, social, cultural and religious norms which encouraged and reinforced patriarchy and violence against women in Sri Lanka.
This grim reality for thousands of women in Sri Lanka is changing – with the support and leadership of Women In Need. They carry out multiple programs, focusing on a multi-pronged approach to address the issue of gender-based violence, ensuring principles of inclusivity, fairness, and non-discrimination, working with multiple ethnic communities and women from varied backgrounds; to better their lives, ending the traumatic emotional, physical and economic abuse they are forced to endure.
WIN also firmly believes that financial independence of women is essential to put an end to the cycle of violence. WINFORHER is a business with a cause – a social enterprise that empowers women survivors of violence through the production and sale of beautiful, hand-made recycled paper and products, giving survivors of violence new hope, confidence, and self-worth.
It was heartwarming to see the dedication of WIN’s team – taking up the many challenges they face as a non-governmental organization and non-profit organization in Sri Lanka, working day in and day out on a very challenging issue to create an inclusive society free of violence against women and girls where all have mutual respect for one another, creating a respectful society which will contribute to the development of our country and its values.
Sri Lanka Foundation proudly supports the WIN organization in Sri Lanka and we ask that you donate to this important cause that is changing the lives of embattled women and children in Sri Lanka.
Please visit our Causes page to learn more