Girls change the world national summit

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FISD girls’ national summit to mark the International day of the Girl was held on the, 20th October 2017 at the lotus hall, BMICH.

FISD Girls National campaign “Girls Change the World” is aimed at engaging young girls in creating a dignified life where they are able to grow into their fullest capacities and reach their fullest potential. While aiming to  addressing “ the issues relating to” gender norms and values (stereotypes) that are affecting girls, this campaign also looks at counteracting other determining factors which hinder their lives, such as Social expectations and perceptions on marriage, education and also on the socially constructed relationships between masculinity and violence/ aggressiveness, masculinity and substance abuse etc.,

The programme ‘’ Girl Change the World Summit’’ was conducted with the participation of nearly 400 school girls and 25 teachers covering 25 schools in the western province.  Students from NISD and other invited organizations were also participated.

Mr. Ravi Kandiah Director FISD welcomed the participants and Mrs. Samitha Sugathimala, the Director FISD   explained the aims and objectives of the national summit. Guest speech were delivered by Deputy Minister of Policy planning and Economic Development Hon. Dr. Harsha de Silva and, Hon. Chandrani Bundara, Minister to the Ministry of the women and child affairs, while Mrs. Ashoka Alawatta, additional secretary to the ministry of women and child affairs talked about the important intervention, taken up by the ministry to empower women and girls.  Dr.Samantha Kithalawaarachch, Director, Presidential task Force, alcohol and drugs prevention unit, stressed the importance of involving Girls in the drug prevention process, in his reliable speech.

Jayanthi Kuru-Utumpala is the first Sri Lankan, and first Sri Lankan woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest (8,848m/29,030ft), a double record she achieved at 5:03am on 21 May 2016. She is a professional mountaineering and a forceful advocate of women’s rights and gender equality.  In addition Jayanthi holds a Master’s Degree in Gender Studies from the University of Sussex, UK. She is currently serving as the first ever Goodwill Ambassador for Women’s Rights for the Ministry of Women’s Affairs.  Delivering   the key note speech of “ Girls change the world summit focused on the  gender base discriminations which hinder the development of girls further she emphasized that steps needs to be taken to empower girls and get their effective contribution towards  their development.

Mrs. .Madani Malwatta Popular dramatist  performed a short section of the drama “ Suddek Oba Amathai’’ in line with the theme of the programme . The section on “Striyak Oba Amathai” deconstruct.

From the time of ancestors the traditional art of Sri Lankan drumming is based the confinement of men and has always been out of reach of the feminine touch.  “Thuryaa” the first ever women s’ drums ensemble of Sri Lanka was invited to  performed on the stage of Girls Summit their performance and the motivational speech related in  empowering girls to think beyond the restriction.

The girls change the world summit programme conducted 03 workshops for school girls in separate group session. The following session was conducting in workshops.


#Political Participation and Leadership

#Alcohol and Drugs Prevention by FISD

#Girls Empowerment and Challenging Gender Stereotypes by FISD

#Esteem Building and Self Development by FISD

Girls Change the World – FISD District Campaign

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Anuradhapura - Girls Change the World

The Foundation for Innovative Social Development (FISD) conducted “Girls Change the World” campaigns in the districts of Anuradhapura, Gampaha, Hambantota, Matale and Moneragala.  The aim of the FISD’s Girls Change the World campaign was to enable girls to have dignified life where they would be able to achieve their fullest potential and make use of their full capabilities.

Gender Norms and values, social constructs about masculinity and femininity, and their social expectations not only hinder girls achieving their fullest potential and make use of their capabilities but also make them vulnerable to aggression, violence and other forms of human rights violations. The evidence suggests that with the transition of girls from puberty to adolescence their vulnerability to Gender Based Violence increases. These include physical, emotional, psychological violence, rape and other forms of sexual abuse, which has grave and lasting impacts on their health and well-being. More than 1 in 10 girls worldwide has experienced some form of forced sexual activity, and sexual experience of many girls is unwanted or compelled. Worldwide, an estimated 150 million girls and 73 million boys have experienced sexual violence; nearly half of all sexual assaults are committed against girls 16 years of age. GBV excessively impacts the most vulnerable members of society. Girls in conflict or emergency settings; in minority or indigenous communities, with disabilities; and lesbian bisexual and trans-identified girls are at increased risk of GBV. Married girls may also be at a higher risk of marital rape and domestic violence, either from their husbands or their husbands’ families.

The objectives of the FISD’s Girls Change the World campaign were to enhance the access of girls to quality education and safe environment, to encourage girls to pursue economic opportunities, to empower girls with information on skills, services and support need for their development, to educate and mobilize communities change harmful norms and practices to girls, and to lobby for laws and regulation that would facilitate the development of girls.

At the Girls Change the World campaign the awareness were  created through discussion with the participants on topics on how to take right decisions,  how to be empowered against violence, how to live with self-respect,  how to reject things that are not acceptable, how to maintain physical and mental wellbeing, how question the myths about alcohol, how to achieve ones fullest potential,  how to pursue higher education opportunities, need to get married at the appropriate age and  how to select a employment in line with one’s ability and liking.

The participants who participated in the awareness discussions of the Girls Change the World campaign in turn educated the people in the above-mentioned districts through, leaflet campaigns, banner campaigns, stage dramas and flash-mobs. They wore T-Shirts and Wrist bands displaying the messages of the Girls Change the World campaign.  A total of 585 girls and 65 boys participated in the campaign from the above-mentioned districts.

The Girls Change the World campaigns conducted at the districts facilitated to create an awareness about the vulnerability girls faced and ways to educate and empower them to overcome such vulnerabilities. It also provided opportunities for them to express these issues in a creative manner and to find solutions for them in a non-violent and democratic manner. These campaigns facilitated the district level civil society organizations and social groups to advocate for issues that affected the girls. Also, these campaigners sensitized the district and divisional level stakeholders and duty bears on need to take actions on the issues affected the girls.  Knowledge, skills and experience gained by conducting the district level campaigns enabled the FISD staff to conduct the Girls National Programme at the national level.