The Voices and Choices Grant Scheme was launched to build on the buzz that was created from South Bank Centre’s Women of the World Festival held in Colombo last December. Eight projects which promote women's empowerment and gender equality were selected to be implemented in 2018/19 by artists and arts/development organisations. The vision for our Women & Girls Voice and Agency work is to foster social inclusion through safe spaces and creative experiences that amplifies women and girls’ voices and provides opportunities for active participation in South Asia, with a specific focus on raising awareness and changing perceptions and attitudes towards gender equality.
A brief description of each selected project proposal:
- “Celebrating the voices and choices of women and girls in the process of transforming their communities” - Foundation for Innovative Social Development.
The project aims to recognise and build image of 200 women leaders and 100 young girls (leaders) who have contributed towards the wellbeing of their communities and changing the lives of women and girls to have a strong voice and better life chances.
- Suicide prevention music video - Ashanthi de Alwis
To create a song and music video to create awareness about the level of female suicides in Sri Lanka and address root causes that are ignored in a conservative society.
- Consent and Complicity - Tracy Holsinger, Mind Adventures
A forum theatre performance and moderated session aimed at highlighting the issue of online bullying with a specific focus on sexual exploitation of teenage girls in romantic relationships, which will be filmed in front of a live audience and shared with schools as a free, subtitled educational resource with accompanying qualitative questionnaires and a pamphlet on the rights of girls and recourse to professional help.
- Young Women’s Leadership Network - Hashtag Generation
To strengthen and develop young women’s leadership within the Sri Lankan State University structures.
- The Little Girl Giant - Power of Play (PVT) LTD
Giant puppet performance of a little girl who never adhered to cultural/social norms and became the giant she wanted to be.
- We Hear You! - Youth Advocacy Network Sri Lanka
Developing tools and interfaces which provide life skills, including knowledge on sexual and reproductive health, for young girls with hearing disabilities in Ratmalana School for the Deaf.
- 'The Language We Speak: Creating Quality Content for Women and Girls in Sri Lanka' - The Grassrooted Trust
To train a team of 32 young people to create online content (articles, videos, photo-stories), specifically in Tamil and Sinhala, focusing on gender based, intimate partner, and sexual violence* that Sri Lankan women and girls** experience, and to disseminate this via diverse online platforms linked with bakamoono.lk.
* Violence includes emotional violence
**Sri Lankan women and girls include Trans women and girls in Sri Lanka
- Gender and Performance in the Tamil Speaking Context: Five day training workshop and a public event and performance - Ponni Arasu and Sarala Emmanual
The project will provide opportunity for women performers from women’s networks in the North and East of Sri Lanka, engaged in gender rights based work, to be trained by a range of experts across performance forms who have also been doing work from a feminist/gender perspective in Tamilnadu and Sri Lanka, culminating in a public event/performance of these experts in Batticoloa, Sri Lanka.