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Image: Group of Muslim female students visiting Galle Fort,July

Statement: Lets come together to support our sisters who have
raised their voice for womens rights and against discrimination.
The constitutional reform process has initiated important
discussions about legal reform. Among them is the need to better
protect womens rights and reform laws that discriminate against
women. As women leaders who have worked for more than 25
years on womens rights, we welcome this focus.

We call for changing laws that discriminate against us, including

the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act, the Thesavalamai, Land
Development Ordinance, the Vagrants Ordinance and sections
365 and 365A of the penal code.
In August this year, our sisters from the Women Action Network
(WAN) made recommendations on reforming discriminatory laws
to the Fundamental Rights Parliamentary Sub-Committee of the
Constitutional Assembly of Sri Lanka. However, since then they
have been vilified and attacked in several public meetings by
some Muslim community leaders. These speeches have also been
widely circulated through social media.
We are saddened and shocked that such dedicated women
leaders committed to advance the well-being of women and their
communities have been attacked in this way.
We reiterate some of the demands made by our sisters
Article 16 (1) of the current constitution should be
repealed and the constitution should ensure that all
citizens are should be treated equally.
Article 12 of the current constitution guarantees equal rights to
men and women and nondiscrimination. However, article 16 (1) protects many laws that
discriminate against women and the marginalised citizen.
Reform personal laws that discriminate against women.

Protect all Sri Lankans by enforcing a minimum age of marriage of

18 years for all citizens regardless of religion or ethnicity.
Remove the practice of dowry/kaikuli, which has led to coercion
and harassment of married women and their families as well as
domestic violence.
Appoint women Quazis to ensure womens access to equal justice
in Quazi Ensuring women can become Quazis, adjudicators,
marriage registrars, and members of the Board of Quazis is to
recognise Muslim women as equal Sri Lankan citizens. Exlcuding
women from these positions, which are publicly funded also
amounts to state-sanctioned discrimination against Sri Lankan
Muslim women.
We strongly support our sisters from WAN in their struggle and
demand respect for the dignity and safety of all those working for
womens rights and well-being.
Women and girls face much violence because of discriminatory
laws. To prevent such violence against women and girls, and to
ensure accountability for such violence, these laws must be
We call on everyone to come together to ensure that such public
attacks do not recur, and that the dignity of women leaders who
are at the forefront of these struggles are upheld.

Womens Coalition for Disaster Management, (Batticaloa womens

We, the undersigned, endorse this statement and support the call
to reform the laws discriminatory towards women.
1. Abha Bhaiya India
2. Afkar Fazil Student
3. Afrah Niwas Univ. of Peradeniya
4. Ashila Niroshi Standup Movement
5. Ashwiny.B
6. Asma Azhar Student, University of Peradeniya
7. Ayesha Kidwai Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New
Delhi, India
8. Azra Wazeer Temporary Lecturer, University of Peradeniya
9. Bhavani Fonseka
10. Binda Pandey
11. Bisliya Bhutto Kilinochchi
12. B.Gowthaman
13. Cayathri D
14. Damairia Pakpahan Yogyakarta, Indonesia
15. Deanne uyangoda
16. Dinushika Dissanayake
17. Dr. Minna Thaheer Policy Advisor/Activist & Researcher
18. Dr. Camena Guneratne
19. Dr.V. Rukmini Rao India
20. Dyuti
21. Elankovan S.C.C
22. Elangeswary Arunasalam
23. Farhana Raheem Legal Assistant
24. Fr.V.Yogeswaran
25. Hana Nayeem Student
26. Harini Amarasuriya
27. Hashtag Generation
28. Hana Ibrahim

29. Hisham Muhammed Management Accountant

30. Huriyyah Fahim Hameed, Assistant Researcher
31. Iman Fahim Hameed Research and Lab Management
32. Indrani Rajendran- Independent Consultant Colombo
33. Kamani Jinadasa
34. Kamla Bhasin India
35. Karththiha Thananjan
36. Kamayani Bali Mahabal feminist and human rights activist,
37. Kalyani Suntharalingam
38. Kapoor, Womens rights activist, Kolkata, India
39. Kumudini Samuel Women and Media Collective
40. Koalisi Perempuan Indonesia
41. Kuhanithy Kuhanesan
42. Kayathry Yasothanan
43. K.Kandeepan
44. Letchumanan Kamaleswary
45. Mangaleswary Shanker Attorney-at-Law
46. Malathi de Alwis
47. Mariam Siddeeque
48. Marisa de Silva
49. Mariam Muhammed Housewife
50. Mariam Wadood Attorney-at-Law
51. Mumthaz Ansar Temporarily Instructor ELTU
52. Muhammed Naufer Accountant
53. M. A. Nuhman formerly Professor of Tamil, Univ. of
54. Paba Deshapriya
55. Navaranjini Nadarajah Sureka
56. Prematha Namasivayam
57. Rafia Gulani Womens Rights Activist
58. Rahini . B
59. Rajany Rajeswary Feminist, Jaffna
60. Ranitha Gnanarajah Attorney-at-Law
61. Ramzi Shahabdeen Accountant and Business Analyst
62. Rajaluxmi Kandaiyah

63. Rita Manchanda South Asia Forum for Human Rights

64. Ruki Fernando
65. R Vasuky
66. Sarala Emmanuel
67. Sara Wazeer Student, Sherwood Girls College,
68. Sankhitha Gunaratne
69. Saba Ismail from Aware Girls
70. Saadia Haq Human rights journalist and feminist, Pakistan
71. Saswati ghosh- HOD and ASSOCIATE PROF, Economics. City
College. Kolkata
72. Setheeswary.Y
73. Shanthi Sivanesan
74. Shahul Hameed Hasbullah Formerly Prof. in
Geography,University of Peradeniya
75. Shamra Wazeer Student, Loyal Ladies College, Polgolla
76. Shamil Mansoor Chartered Management Accountant
77. Shanaz Mansoor Accountant
78. Shafani Riyas Preschool Teacher
79. Shyamani Hettiarachchi
80. Sitralega Maunaguru
81. Sivamohan Sumathy University of Peradeniya
82. Sritharuni Sritharan
83. Sriranjini Thiyagarajah
84. Sr. Nichola Emmanuel
85. Sumithra. S
86. Sumika Perera -Coordinator, Womens Resource Centre
87. Suhanthini Thiventhiram- Kilinochchi
88. Suthaharan Kanagaretnam
89. S. Renuka
90. S.Rahini
91. S.Ithayarani
92. S.Loganayaki
93. Tasneem Hamead
94. T.Devarany
95. Thavachchelvi Rasan


Udeni Thewarapperuma Attorney At Law
Uma Chakravarti
Vanie Saimon
Vasanthakala Pratheepan
Vasuki Jeyashankar Womens Rights Activist
Venushri Puvaneswaran
Vijitha Ehamparanathan Trincomalee
Vijayaluxmi Seharuban
Zaheer Mohamed- Hotel Manager, Grange Hotel, London
Zulhama Fazil Student

1. Affected Women Forum Akkaraipattu
2. Beyond Beijing Committee Nepal
3. Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA)
4. Centre for Promotion and Protection of Human Rights,
5. Gramya Resource Centre for Women India
6. Joint Womens Programme India
7. Mannar Womens Development Federation
8. Northern Women Action Advocacy Network(NWAAN)
9. Programme on Womens Economic Social and Cultural Rights
(PWESCR) India
10. Peshraft Foundation for Human Rights, Pakistan.
11. SAFA for ESCR , South Asian Feminist Alliance
12. Suriya Womens Development Centre, Batticaloa
13. The Grassrooted Trust
14. Women In Need
15. Womens Coalition for Disaster Management
16. Youth Advocacy Network Sri Lanka
Posted by Thavam