New Media Training

As part of the Fokus project, a 2 day residential new media training was held in Colombo on the 29th and 30th of November 2012. The training was conducted by Sanjana Hattotuwa, the editor of Groundviews, an award winning citizen journalism website. The training components included introduction to new media, training on some technical aspects of new media and training and awareness raising on online security and online safety.

CEDAW Training for Local Women’s Organizations in the Context of Conflict and Post-War Sri Lanka

A 5 day Residential Training was held in Colombo, on the use of CEDAW and UNSCR 1325 for information gathering and documentation purposes in relation to issues faced by women affected by the conflict. The training was conducted by WMC and IWRAW-AP and was attended by 20 participants (4 each from 5 partner organizations) from the following districts: Jaffna, Vavuniya, Batticloa, Amparia and Anuradhapura. The five partner organizations included Home for Human Rights, Viluthu, Surya Women’s Development Centre, Muslim Women’s Research and Action Forum and the Rajarata Community Centre.

Focus Group Discussion in Jaffna

The Women and Media Collective successfully conducted a 1-day Focus Group Discussion in Jaffna on the 2nd of July 2012, with participation from 3 districts: Surya Women’s Development Centre, Batticaloa; Home for Human Rights, Vavuniya; and Viluthu, Jaffna.

The purpose of the FGD was to gain an understanding on how information is currently being gathered and to assess the ways in which the CEDAW/UNSCR 1325 training on information gathering and documentation can be developed in order to benefit the partner organizations in their ongoing work in relation to women’s concerns in the post-war context.

All partner organizations present at the meeting were agreeable to participating in the “CEDAW/UNSCR 1325 Training Programme focused on Documentation and Information Gathering” that is scheduled to be held in Colombo, from 27 – 31 August 2012. As one of the key outputs of the training, partner organizations will prepare a report on the situation of women affected by armed conflict in response to the Paragraph 41 of the 2011 CEDAW Concluding Observations for Sri Lanka. It was also decided that the CEDAW Framework will not be used only for this short term report (due to be submitted in February 2013) but also for future advocacy work that will be conducted with the information gathered at local, national and international level.  The information will also feed into the proposed report to the Secretary General on UNSCR 1325 from Sri Lanka which will be written in 2013.

A key output of the FGD is the Concept Note for the CEDAW/UNSCR 1325 Training Programme which was prepared after taking into consideration the issues discussed during the FGD in Jaffna.



Penkal Seyithi Madal 14.1 2012
Suriya Women’s Development Centre

Women are soft……because of that they cant do all work.

This is a deeply engrained concept in our society. She is a model to change this concept. Through this change she wants to bring about a new world for women. Society thinks women want only to run a shop, or to do beautifying intricate work. But this woman from Manjanthoduwai has broken the shackles of these traditional ideas and she is doing construction work. Yogarani is a mason. She joined the technical college in 1993 to train on building and construction work. Her family was against this. Society teased her. She lived through all this. Once she finished her one year course she also went for practical training. Five women joined the course but only she is now working as a mason. Other women dropped out due to teasing. A woman who is challenging society – this is Jogarani.

In 1996, she became a teacher for WUSC. During this time she faced a lot of resistance from society. She worked for 10 years as a teacher for WUSC. She also constructed toilets and small buildings. She is now 38 years old and she is supported by her husband. She is now a trainer for YMCA, VTA and WUSC.  She is now supporting a lot of women to come forward in this field. I want to further develop myself and also encourage more women to take a lead in construction work. She has trained a lot of widows. Women are making concrete posts and pots for their income. She is a model for other women, as an example that women can do anything.