Blog Archives

We Are Rising

We support this and we’ll be at Galle Face for the launch of One Billion Rising in Sri Lanka.

Yes, one billion exceeds our 20 million population. And that’s what’s startling. See, the UN has discovered that 1 in 3 women become victims of gender based violence everyday. With a world population that stands at 7 billion, it equates to ONE BILLION victims each day.

One billion women and girl-children are subjected various forms of gender based violence, from catcalling to rape. So Eve Ensler, the founder of the bold plays ‘The Vagina Monologues’, decided to create a movement to raise awareness. Her plan is get one billion people– men, women and children, to protest against gender based violence leading up to 14th of February 2013.

Each country that has pledged their support of OBR has launched the campaign in their respective countries. Sri Lanka will join them on the 25th of November (this Sunday). And that’s what the flyer is about.

So join us at the launch of OBR Sri Lanka and show your support.


Feminism and the Law

Does the legal system cater to women? Many feminist don’t believe it does. Which could be agreed upon as the law provides inadequate protection for women’s injuries, which are among the most under reported crimes in the world.Why it is that Sexual harassment was not considered an offense for a long time? And pornography is protected by interpreting the constitution so to categorize it as free speech in some countries such as United States, while many feminists such as Catherine Mackinnon would consider it a discrimination of the sexes? And why is it that abortion is not dealt with by looking at the woman’s desire to have a child but by the ‘interest of society’? Is the society so patriarchal?

Such is quite evident by the views taken by many jurist such as Hobbes who stated that the mother is sovereign in relation to children but family is strictly a patriarchal institution, therefore meaning all decisions made in a family are the ones made by the man in the house and even looking at the public sphere it is evident that only few women are represented in parliament and especially in a country which boasts about having the world’s first woman prime minister.

The systems of laws generally only function to protect a preconceived character such as a white, middles class woman, while in reality it’s a complete different. Mariana Valverde stated that the needs of a woman picking coffee beans for fifty cents in Brazil and the needs of an American woman sipping coffee while writing about feminism would be a whole lot different and therefore it is a requirement we fight the stereotypes which blur the needs of each and every woman into one mould, as each woman’s needs are different from the other.

The law has recognized the rights of women mostly after the French Revolution as it made women aware of their rights. But till 1884 in UK wives were capable of being imprisoned by their husbands if they pleased, and as they were legally married she was under a contractual agreement and was considered the property of the husband. Domestic violence wasn’t recognized in the UK till 1975.

So clearly it has been a very slow process in evolving the system to protect the rights of women. International law cannot be given any recognition either as many women suffer due to war have crimes committed on them such as rape by members of the armed forces. Also International laws are quite reluctant to be a moving force to prevent young girls and women being circumcised and preventing traditional rituals such as Sati being carried out.

What has happened to human rights? Are we to believe that women are not considered as human beings, as most feminist believe the law is controlled by a patriarchal system which considers the man as the superior being.

– Radhi De Silva.

Related posts : Abortion in Sri Lanka, No Noise for Gender Violence.

Radhi is a Core Group Member of Beyond Borders Sri Lanka and an undegraduate student of law. Despite many studies conducted on the matter, It’s unclear whether she’s a feminist. The opinions expressed here are those of the author and not necessarily of the organisation.

No Noise for Gender Violence

Anindita Sengupta blogging at Ultra Violet wonders whether violence against women has gotten so acceptable that it “ceases to even horrify” anymore.

editors and senior journalists of prominent newspapers obviously do not think this is an issue worth discussing. So there is no series of columns giving insights into the various aspects and implications. No “Lead India”-like campaign in ToI. No railing editorials from aging and mostly senile columnists. (Shashi Tharoor, when you’re done with lamenting the fact that we Indian women are not wearing the sari any more, you think you could turn your attention to this?)

I get the disturbing sense that violence against women is so accepted within the framework of our society, something that we have become so used to, that it ceases to even horrify anymore.

Meanwhile, can you name 16 forms of violence against women? Are you sure you don’t know anyone facing one of these? Are you sure you’re not facing one of these yourself? [link]

Come to think of it, We didn’t really hear anything about it in Sri Lanka either. The full piece makes for an interesting read. The forum theatre on thursday will have some linkages with the theme.