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About Sunila Abeysekera

Sunila Abeysekera is a Sri Lankan feminist and human rights defender. She has been active on women's issues since the 1970s and is involved in many women's organizations and networks nationally and globally. She is a founder member of the women and media collective in Sri Lanka, a member of the board of the urgent action fund for wonen's human rights,  part of the coordinating group of the feminist dialogue process at the world social forum and of the women human rights defenders international coalition. She has written and published on women's human rights and particular on the situation of women's rights in conflict situations.   

Articles by Sunila Abeysekera

This week's editors

RB, editor

Rosemary Bechler edits openDemocracy's main site.

Parvati Nair directs the United Nations University Institute on Globalization, Culture and Mobility.


Cameron Thibos edits Mediterranean Journeys in Hope.

En Liang Khong is assistant editor at openDemocracy.

Alex Sakalis is the editor of Can Europe Make It?

Constitutional conventions: best practice

A brutal manifestation of patriarchy

The involvement of women in anti-war actions and in support of peace activism worldwide is a critical part of modern history, yet  the vulnerability of women in conflict situations to violence of all forms is perhaps the most brutal manifestation of patriarchy in modern times. We must probe the areas of ambivalence in women’s activism for peace and human rights, argues Sunila Abeysekera

Challenging ourselves at Beijing +15

Sunila Abeysekera lists the achievements of Beijing’95, and argues now that the priority for women’s movements worldwide should be to build a cohesive platform for action to confront and combat the common challenges as we move forward from the CSW Beijing +15.

The barbarian phase

“I am reflecting on experiences in Sri Lanka of working with women involved in conflict situations at a time when the situation in Sri Lanka is perhaps the worst it has ever been in thirty years of a very protracted and bitter civil war.”

Sunila Abeysekera is Executive Director of International Women’s Rights Action Watch – a Sri Lankan feminist activist and human rights defender who has worked on issues of women’s rights and human rights in the Asia Pacific region and globally for thirty years and more.

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