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Under NPC’s Legal Action Worldwide (LAW) project, the Dehiovita Divisional Secretariat conducted a social cohesion activity focussing on International Women’s Day with the participation of over 130 women representing all ethnicities.

Speakers included Assistant Divisional Secretary M.N.S. Weerasinghe, Plantation Community Development Officer Shermila Jeenatha who shared information on Muslim culture and rituals and Regional Development Bank representative Samantha Bandara who introduced women’s microfinance opportunities and shared information on how to obtain low interest loans for income generation activities.

Explaining equality and equity, NPC staff stressed that in order to work towards equality, society and women needed equity, which refers to fair treatment and access to opportunities for people considering their specific circumstances and needs to achieve equal outcomes. It involved addressing systemic inequalities and providing resources and chances to ensure that everyone could participate in society.

Senior Family Counsellor of the Avissawella Hospital Shantha Rathnasiri said that women were often not given the opportunity to go forward and called on women to claim their rights and raise issues. There were many women householders across the country and they must be given more power to make decisions, she pointed out.

Child Care Officer at Ruwanwella District Secretariat K.I. Swarna said there was a problem in communication issues and aggressive behaviour within families. The parent’s behaviour affected how children learned their behaviour. If parents wanted to raise good children, they needed to model qualities such as respect and decision making in a positive way, she said.

The cultural events brought to life the roles and tasks women assumed in society and visualised the diversity among women.



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