On 08. 03. 2009 at 0700 hrs. the representatives of the network organization "Womens' Action for Social Justice." (WASJ) met opposite the Fort Railway Station, Sri Lanka to commemorate the International Womens' Day. The members of the WASJ distributed a pamphlet on the theme " Let us break the silence and continue our life." They were able to distribute approximately 1200 pamphlets in 90 minutes.
Sharp at 0845 hrs. a group of about 30 WASJ members boarded the Baticaloa (Eastern Province) bound train and together with the cultural group they visited most of the compartmants of the train singing songs depicting the violence against women and the value of the womens contribution for social, economic activities in the country and the pressure exerted on the poorest women in the farming, fishing and plantations labour sectors and distributed a hand bill to create an awareness amongst the train commuters about the prevalent position.
All the train commuters belonging to the ethnicities Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim were seen reading the hand bill 50 distributed. Hand bills were distributed amongst the people at the railway stations too and they seemed to by attracted to the contents of the hand bill.
Reactions of the community
· The train commuters expressed the view that such awareness was very important and if that awareness was given by a female more attention could have been drawn from the people.
The crowd was from various areas and they had been induced to collect hand-bills for distribution amongst the people in their areas.
- 5000 copies of this pamphlet had been printed in both Sinhala and Tamil.
- This pamphlet was distributed amongst the people at the womens' programme conducted by NAFSO organization in Kalmunnai.
Contents in the document
Particulars pertaining to the way pressures are exerted on women in the garment treade, house-maids who serve in foreign countries, plantation labour, cottage industries, by the globalized economic process.
- escalation of the cost of living
- Getting subjected to anaemia and weak health
- Age – old customary concepts
- Fall in rural livelihoods farming, fishing and small production sectors.
- Indebtedness in rural areas.
Plans have been made by the Savisthri Movement to hold discussions at rural level based on the contents of this document.
The participants returned to the Fort Railway Station at 1600 hrs. from Kurunagala after carrying out activities pertaining to the Womens' Day in a fruitful manner.