Visaka Dharmadasa

30 September 2005
I am Visaka Dharmadasa from Sri Lanka. I am the Chairperson of the Association of War Affected Women (AWAW). Our organization has been working with affected women for the past five years and we also work on advocacy for the inclusion of women in the formal peace processes as well as in all decision-making bodies.
Our recent work has been disseminating the content of UN resolution 1325 through out our country. We are currently holding workshops for rural and urban level women leaders, making them aware of the resolution. We hope to conduct 25 workshops. So far we have already conducted 19 of them. Our next step will be to conduct workshops for politicians at all levels. We are also simultaneously conducting seminars and awareness campaigns by way of marches to make the general public aware of the resolution. One such gathering with the participation of over 2000 women was held on 10 December 2004.

We encourage women to quote the resolution in their demands for a place at the negotiating table as well in other decision making bodies. We have also launched a project called “Weaving 1325 in to tsunami relief”. AWAW has written to the authorities on the importance of having women’s voices heard in relief efforts as well as having women at all levels of decision-making in the rebuilding process. AWAW is playing a major role in calling for the implementation,  and implementing UN resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security in Tsunami relief work.
I will be very happy to discuss the opportunities and challenges we face in implementing 1325 in our respective countries.

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