According to reports from police and feminist writers, there has been a tremendous increase in the number of violent acts committed against women in Sri Lanka.
Police reported that 900 women were raped last year, 100 occurring during the months of July August and September. During the first six months of this year, police investigated 52 charges of domestic assault and 38 sexual harassment or molestation cases.
Sunila Abysekera of Women and Media Collective commented, "We are now talking about a rape a day (during the summer months). This is far higher than what it has ever been.
Experts disagree on whether the increase is real or whether it simply reflects and increase in the number of reported crimes. Several women's groups also argue that fighting in the country is at least partially responsible for the increase. "This is always the case in times of war. When conflicts are being resolved militarily you find violence trickling into society," said Radhika Kumaraswamy, special rapporteur on violence against women.
Others blame the increase on men's unwillingness to accept women's new roles as breadwinners, police unresponsiveness, and the recently strengthened, but still weak, laws punishing violent acts against women.
1/23/2015 #HeForShe Campaign Launches Pilot Effort Aimed at Institutional Equality - The United Nations' gender equality campaign #HeForShe has launched a new program called IMPACT 10X10X10.
United Nations Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson, together with UN Women Executive DirectorPhumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, introduced the one-year pilot effort aimed at encouraging corporations, universities, and governments to play an active role in enhancing women's empowerment and equality in Davos, Switzerland today at the World Economic Forum.
"Women need to be equal participants in our homes, societies, in our governments, and in our workplaces," Watson said.
First introduced in September, HeForShe is a solidarity movement that calls on men and boys to confront gender inequalities that face women and girls globally. . . .