Sri Lanka

The report looks at various issues pertaining to women’s ownership and control of land and property in specific areas in the North and East of Sri Lanka affected by the conflict. The report discusses practical difficulties women face in accessing and owning land, legal provisions that affect women’s access and ownership, the implications of ethnicity, caste, and religion on land and property rights as well as perceptions related women’s access to and ownership of land. Traditionally there has been a strong trend towards separate property ownership of women.

One third of women in this study claimed to own land, and the prevalence of violence reported was low (13%), but the study highlights notions of patriarchy and social norms that operated in the context of Sri Lankan society, making women passive subjects to the violence inflicted on them. The study did not find an association between the ownership of property and domestic violence; women with property and those without were found to be equally likely to report violence.

This publication analyses the Quazi Court System in Sri Lanka from the point of view of women highlighting the need for law reform to ensure equality and justice for women within Muslim law.

The four chapters in this book attempt to document and analyse contingent moments in the feminist movement in Sri Lanka as feminists have attempted to address issues of gendered violence. The introduction maps and brings together a framework through which issues of violence against women in Sri Lanka can be analysed. It looks not only at the emergence of identity politics as the dominant mode through which gender issues have been tackled, but also investigates two ways (freedom and protection) in which the movement has sought to redress gendered violence.

Sri Lanka as signatory to the CEDAW is obliged to ensure that the rights of women are protected and promoted. Yet, this study of the national legal framework clearly highlights that "the law" continues to discriminate against women in many aspects. Where violence against women is concerned, the lack of specific domestic violence legislation and the law on rape, which leaves unprotected certain groups such as young Muslim women between the ages of 12 and 16, are just some of the legal provisions which need to be amended/repealed.

This book looks at how the law has responded to women who have suffered violence. Police statistics, media reports and the experiences of women activists and counsellors indicate that violence against women is a widespread phenomenon in Sri Lanka….One of the biggest problems is lack of awareness. Victims and potential victims are unaware of their rights and the remedies available. This resource book looks at the Sri Lankan legal system from a feminist perspective.

This paper discusses the situation of VAW in the region of South Asia, employing examples from all of its composite countries (including Pakistan). South Asia continues to have the worst indicators with regard to violence against women in the world. In addition to the common problems of violence against women, South Asia has particular cultural and religious practices that also accentuate the problem of VAW in the region. The general low status of women in the region and the entrenched nature of discriminatory structures have led to what is seen as a lifecycle of VAW.

This bibliography attempts to cover all areas of violence against women in the family, the community and by the state. The compilation also includes a full array of resource material from books to monographs and newspaper articles, both published and unpublished, and is broken down by country. 

The sparing of young Rizana Nafeek from beheading in Saudi Arabia, and her return home to her family in Eastern Sri Lanka, is all we need now to complement our joy at the release of Aung San Suu Kyi in Myanmar. It is heartening to read reports that the King of Saudi Arabia has, subsequent to world-wide appeals, including from our own President Rajapakse and reportedly Prince Charles of the UK, asked Saudi officials to hold talks with the bereaved Saudi family, whose 4 month old infant died after the 17 year old maid was asked to bottle-feed it. This tragedy took place less than three weeks after young Rizana’s arrival in Saudi.

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