4 January 2011
Dr Ishani Chandrasekara was awarded the prestigious research award by the Feminist Review Trust in November 2010 to initiate the “Internally Displaced Women’s Collective” in Northern Sri Lanka. The main focus of Dr Chandrasekara’s project is to work with a local women’s group to create a shelter for women survivors of the ethnic conflict in the District of Kilinochchi.
The intention of this joint project is to assist internally displaced women in overcoming their trauma and rebuilding safety networks, social relations and economic resources. This includes women’s personal security from violence or harm and access to the basic essentials of life and freedom from violations based on gender. As such, the project will help to enhance women’s human rights in the region by promoting gender equality as well as women’s dignity, personal (physical
and economic) security.
The project will assist women through the path of becoming economically self-sufficient by creating funds and giving meaningful assistance to build a safe shelter. This initial assistance will support the traditional saving system known as seettu for women to participate in income generation activities, which will provide jobs for their children and other relatives. And more importantly it will empower women, who have literally nothing left to live or look forward to being other than warranted salvation.