Gender Equality, Women’s Empowerment and Language Rights

NLEAP organizes a sensitization workshop for the Ministry 

‘Gender Equality, Women’s Empowerment and Language Rights’, a workshop organized by NLEAP for the National Languages Division of the Ministry, was held on the 22nd of July in Colombo. Facilitated by Saama Rajakaruna (Gender Equality Specialist – NLEAP) and Indika Dayarathna (Consultant), the key objectives of the workshop were to enhance the conceptual understanding of gender equality and women’s empowerment (GEWE) within language rights and to explore ways to promote GEWE within language rights.

The key areas covered by the workshop were;

  • Enhancing the conceptual understanding of gender, gender based discrimination, gender equality and women’s empowerment
  • Clarifying the links between gender equality, women’s empowerment and language rights
  • Exploring the rationale for promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment within language rights

Attended by senior, middle management, clerical and support staff of the Ministry, the workshop sessions were both interactive and informative, provoking discussion and engagement on key aspects impacting the development of gender-sensitive strategies within the Ministry. Ministry representatives, commenting on their learning experience at this sensitization programme, observed ‘‘We will really appreciate it if you could conduct continuous workshops of a similar nature”. The facilitators were greatly encouraged by the enthusiasm shown by the participants in learning about gender equality and women’s empowerment within language rights.

NLEAP, a bilateral project funded by the Government of Canada, works very closely with the Government of Sri Lanka and civil society organizations, to strengthen gender-sensitive bilingual communication skills of public servants and to improve the capacity of key ministries to deliver public services in both official languages (Sinhala and Tamil) in a gender-sensitive manner at national and provincial levels.

NLEAP is implemented by Alinea International (previously Agriteam Canada), a global international development consultancy providing technical and management expertise that helps people improve their lives. Conducting sensitization workshops of this nature forms an integral part of NLEAP’s mandate to provide technical assistance  to key  selected ministries, as well as provincial and local government authorities, to develop gender-sensitive strategies to address non-language communication barriers impeding the effective delivery of public services.