Wednesday 09 December 2020
19:00 to 20:15
Online event (registration required)

The British Council is committed to making 2020 count for women and girls everywhere. The ambition to reach gender equity and eliminate disadvantage is at the heart of all the Women and Girls work we do across the avenues of arts and society. This event features a virtual panel discussion featuring our partners with whom we deliver our work around Women and Girls. 

Among the issues faced by women and girls in Sri Lanka are a high rate of domestic violence, sexual harassment, early marriage, early pregnancy and unemployment. This is especially true in marginalized communities that are below the poverty line, and with contributory problems such as drug and alcohol abuse. 

In the recent past, innovative and creative approaches have been used to engage communities and provide a platform for dialogue and moderate narratives. Storytelling provides a way for communities to address stereotypes, improve community cohesion and resilience. 

All are welcome to participate. Register online and share your thoughts and questions in advance.


Anomaa Rajakaruna


Anomaa has travelled extensively in Sri Lanka documenting the lives of community groups, particularly the lives of women and children in these communities and has addressed issues such as women in armed conflict, displacement, sexual harassment and violence against women. She uses photography and documentary film for expression and has won several awards for her work.  

She is the Director of multiple film festivals around the country and is the founder of the Agenda 14 Short Film Festival.

Ashanthi De Alwis


Ashanthi De Alwis is the queen of Sri Lankan Pop. An artiste who has proved herself by pushing boundaries with her music locally and internationally, winning many international awards for her compositions. She is now geared to shed light on important social issues that affect the youth and women in Sri Lanka. 

Nadarajah Sukirtharaj


Nadarajah works as the Co-ordinator, Jaffna Social Action Centre and is the President, NGO Council, Jaffna. He is also a British Council Active Citizen Master facilitator, a social activist and a member of South Asian Peace Alliance.

He has 25+ years’ experience working on a variety of women’s and girl’s rights-based issues, with former IDPs (returnees), women-headed families and children, implementing projects that will reduce the impact of disaster and trauma, and promote durable development.

Samitha Sugathimala

Samitha Sugathimala


Samitha is Director, Programmes at FISD and works as a consultant on Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) and gender-related development issues such as gender justice. She is also the Country Coordinator of Men Engage Alliance, Sri Lanka and a steering committee member for Men Engage South Asia.  Samitha has over 15 years’ work experience in the prevention of SGBV at the community level. She has extensive practical knowledge on community-based approaches for the prevention of SGBV. 

Sharanya Sekaram


Sharanya is a feminist writer, researcher, and activist based in Sri Lanka and works primarily as an independent consultant in the gender space. She is passionate about the democratization of information and resources, as well as access to networks and spaces.

Sharanya holds an LLB (Hons) from Staffordshire University and a Masters in Conflict and Peace Studies from the University of Colombo. She has worked with many state institutions, CSOs, NGOs, and private sector institutions as a consultant.

Kinita Shenoy


Kinita Shenoy is a writer and communications specialist who has worked with the UN, the European Climate Foundation, and IFC. She has served as the Editor-in-Chief of Cosmopolitan Sri Lanka and Yamu, and has been published globally, including on Condé Nast Traveler and Harper's Bazaar. Her focus is on fostering equitable communities via campaigns and communications around gender and women's rights. 

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