British Council Sri Lanka amplifies and empowers women’s voices; in partnership with Foundation for Social Development launches the publication ‘Transforming communities: Voices and Choices of Women and Girls’

Demonstrating that gender equality and economic, social and cultural development are inextricably linked, and the importance of empowering and amplifying women’s voices, the British Council in partnership with Foundation for Innovative Social Development (FISD) launched an inspirational publication titled ‘Transforming communities: Voices and Choices of Women and Girls’.

The publication is based on the project ‘Transforming communities: Voices and Choices of Women and Girls’ implemented by Samitha Sugathimala of FISD who facilitated a platform for women and girls to share their experiences with their community members as leaders.

The project aimed to recognize and build the image of 200 women and 100 young girls, in leadership roles, in the Anuradhapura, Moneragala and Hambanthota districts. The selected candidates have all contributed towards the well-being of their communities and changed the lives of women and girls enabling them in turn to have a strong voice and better life chances.

The publication showcases 60 community-based women and girls with leadership profiles who were selected and interviewed, capturing their stories to provide a strong impetus for other women and girls in the community to be motivated to replicate these achievements.

“There has been an unprecedented progress in important aspects of the lives of girls and women in recent decades. Expanding their economic and learning opportunities, and broadening their views and aspirations through the removal of constraints and unleashing women’s full productive potential are vital to yield enormous dividends. We are extremely pleased to launch the publication which presents the project’s promising and well-designed interventions and new approaches to implementation, demonstrating the significant benefits,” explained Gill Caldicott, Country Director British Council Sri Lanka.

Additionally, the project provided an opportunity for women to gain recognition and understand their self–value as unsung heroes within the community with end beneficiaries that include government officers, divisional secretaries, women and girls in community societies, school children etc.

Among the key issues being faced in Sri Lanka are the high rate of domestic violence, sexual harassment, social media exploitation, suicide rates, over protection of girls, and under employment despite good educational achievements. Whilst addressing some of these issues directly, in the longer-term interventions are aimed at attitudinal change, tackling gender norms among women and girls, as well as men and boys, and thus enabling the former to participate fully in society.

To achieve these aims, the British Council’s project portfolio; programmes in education, arts and society, ensure that women and girls are engaged with and gain the awareness, skills, confidence and networks to improve their own and others’ lives and contribute economically, socially, and culturally to a prosperous Sri Lanka.


About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We work with over 100 countries in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society. Last year we reached over 75 million people directly and 758 million people overall including online, broadcasts and publications. We make a positive contribution to the countries we work with – changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust. Founded in 1934 we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body. We receive 15 per cent core funding grant from the UK government.