Women’s Insecurity in the North and East: Sri Lanka

Authored by: International Crisis Group

Categories: Human Rights, Statebuilding
Sub-Categories: Democratization and Political Participation, Human Development, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Security Sector Reform (SSR), Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV)
Country: Sri Lanka
Region: South and Central Asia
Year: 2011
Citation: International Crisis Group. Sri Lanka: Women’s Insecurity in the North and East. Brussels: International Crisis Group, 2011.

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Women in Sri Lanka’s predominantly Tamil-speaking north and east are facing a desperate lack of security in the aftermath of the long civil war. Today many still live in fear of violence from various sources. Those who fall victim to it have little means of redress. Women’s economic security is precarious, and their physical mobility is limited. The heavily militarised and centralized control of the north and east – with almost exclusively male, Sinhalese security forces – raises particular problems for women there in terms of their safety, sense of security and ability to access assistance. They have little control over their lives and no reliable institutions to turn to. The government has mostly dismissed women’s security issues and exacerbated fears, especially in the north and east. The international community has failed to appreciate and respond effectively to the challenges faced by women and girls in the former war zone. A concerted and immediate effort to empower and protect them is needed.