Remembering Sunila Abeysekera

WLUML would like to add its voice to the myriad voices from around the world mourning the passing away of Sunila Abeysekera, human rights and feminist activists from Sri Lanka earlier this month, while remembering her contribution to the global women’s movement and the WLUML network in particular. Sunila worked closely with WLUML at our first feminist leadership institute held in Turkey in 1998 being one of a number of resource persons representing experiences from outside the Muslim world. She facilitated several sessions on using the human rights system and international mechanisms, monitoring and documenting human rights violations, and sexuality and sexual rights.

More critically her work with feminist networks such as the Women Human Rights Defenders Coalition, Urgent Action Fund, AWID, Reproductive Health Matters, etc. and her association with several members of WLUML left a deep impact on all of us. Her critical engagement with human rights on the one hand and religion and culture on the other in order to advance women’s rights and challenge religious fundamentalisms and cultural chauvinism made her a close friend and ally of the network.

On behalf of the network we extend our condolences to her family in Sri Lanka, and friends, and rededicate ourselves to Sunila’s vision and commitment to human rights and gender equality around the world.