Urgent Action Fund: Changing Politics for Peace in Sri Lanka

Democratic processes that uplift the participation of women and of the most marginalized are critical to peaceful societies. Rural Women’s Front (RWF) brings the voices of rural women and plantation workers into peace negotiations and democratic processes in Sri Lanka. In 2016, RWF sought a rapid advocacy grant from Urgent Action Fund to take advantage of a new window of opportunity: an invitation to meet with and present recommendations to Sri Lanka’s Constitutional Reform Committee. With the grant in hand just a few days later, RWF swiftly organized forums across central and southern Sri Lanka, involving six other organizations to ensure that women of different faiths and backgrounds were included. They then presented recommendations surfaced during these meetings to the Constitutional Committee, holding a press conference and rally simultaneously to show the public support behind them. RWF continued their efforts and in February 2018, an unprecedented 81 women were elected to political office in the Southern Province. It is a monumental change and one that RWF says could not have occurred without the work that they and others did to build a wide base of aware, engaged, and voting women across all political parties.

In 2016, Urgent Action Fund made a grant of $4,850 to the Rural Women’s Front to support a series of direct actions in response to the window of opportunity to involve civil society—especially women—to contribute to the constitutional amendment process.

Urgent Action Fund: Changing Politics for Peace in Sri Lanka

Rural Women's Front