The end of the war has given hope for the Government and the NGOs to enter into a new phase of reconciliation resettlement, democracy and development. The Centre for women and development at the initial stage its field programs span to the Districts of Jaffna , Kilinochchi and Mullaithevu, had to narrow down its activities to Jaffna due to the conflicts and its consequences. It had its own ups and downs, particularly in terms of financial resources which controlled the effective involvement of human resources as well.
The present scenario has somewhat changed and particularly the local NGOs in the North tend to face new challenges. The Local NGOs are not allowed to visit the war affected Vanni areas. Any development projects need to have PTF approval for implementation in the North.
Along with the 12 NGOS, who have got the working approval of PTF, CWD also has successfully got the approval of implementing projects in Jaffna. This shows the credibility of the organization which worked throughout the period of conflict with the people of Jaffna particularly the displaced and affected women.
Now the time and opportunity has come for us to strengthen and build our capacity to suit the new challenges of development which are taking place in the area of resettlement, development and reconciliation, where women should involve themselves.
We also have done a baseline survey at Mankulam and Kilinochchi districts to find out the present living conditions of women in those areas. This is done with the purpose of expand our activities towards these areas.
CWD’s mail goal is to work for an improvement of women’s social, economic and political situation locally. With an emphasis on advocacy and right based programs.
CWD Aims to be a competence and resource centre for women’s organizations on women’s issues.
Improve the social, economic and political situations of women and internally displaces persons.
Increase the affected societies knowledge about and understanding of women’s issues in a development perspective.
Strengthen collaborations with national women’s organizations in their policy engagements and reforms.
Facilitate discovery of new strategies and initiatives to reweave divided communities and avoid further cycles of violence.
Significant miles stones of CWD
Established in the year of 1988, and it was transformed into an autonomous body and registered as an NGO under the social service ministry and then the Ministry of defense. Today CWD is playing a catalytic role in terms of initiating various capacity building activities on the issues related to women. Democratic local governance has assumed prominent role in the politics in Sri Lanka .We believe that unless the knowledge , skills and capacities of grassroots decision makers are not strengthened the whole process of democratic decentralization cannot produce desired results. It improves people’s confidence in and commitment to democratic practice.
Conducted a need assessment survey to implement livelihood activities to the displaced.
Documented data on women who have lost their husbands during the war. (Many national organizations utilized this data for their development activities)
Conducted capacity building training programs to women in the Women rural development societies
Documented VAW, using information technology, Funded by ICTA. Established 05 regional centers and the field staff visited rural villages and collected data on women affected
We have created an online website to save Domestic violence data
We also have documented data on disappeared and missing persons during the peak of the war
We have conducted awareness programs on the instruments of the international resolutions
We also have conducted awareness programs on CEDAW, UN 1325 resolution, Domestic violence act and the women’s charter
Awareness on project designing also carried out by our centre
A series of programs were conducted on human rights to the displaced population
A district wise poster competition was organized on the theme of violation of human rights to the school children and the community members
Conduct awareness programs on legal matters
Established a Free legal Aid unit to address domestic violence cases. We were the pioneers of establishing such a centre in Jaffna. Cases are taken to the courts
A basic need assessment survey (over view) done in the Vanni areas, devastated by the war
25 true stories of women undergone domestic violence were published in the three local News papers
70 true stories were collected from the displaced affected women from Vanni area
Submissions made to LLRC about the human rights violations took place during the last phase of war
International women’s day, International peace day and human rights day celebrated yearly
Training programs on gender and development at a village level curried out
TOT programs and in house skill development programs were conducted
Leadership training to women conducted
IT training to rural women, and children going on
A series of training manuals developed for the use of trainees
A gender based magazine is published
Programs on good governance and democracy conducted
3 months human rights course was conducted in collaboration with extra mural studies, University, of Jaffna
Planning to conduct a gender studies course for the women in Jaffna
Coordinate and work with the Hospital health unit, Police, and courts
Conduct VAW programs to women of different age group
Executive director as a member on the National committee on women, Ministry of child development and women’s empowerment, women’s participation is being encouraged in the policy decisions, and reforms on women’s issues
Established links with national and international women’s organizations
Participate in seminars and workshops organized locally and internationally by women and development organizations
An exchange program was organized with the women’s group in the south as a peace initiative program
A series of seminars were organized and conducted by us in collaboration with the National Peace Council , to bring the displaced Muslim women and the Tamil women to have a better understanding (EU Project)
An International religious conference was organized by us in Jaffna for the National Peace Council.(EU project)
One day seminar was organized to create awareness on land disputes arose after the war
Planning to conduct school programs in Jaffna on reproductive health and protection on a voluntary basis using our own resources
Livelihood activities were done to many displaced women and children with the funding of SDC, and DRC
Stakeholders of CWD
The members of Board of Directors
Grama Nilathari officers
Women rural development officers
Women development officers
External resource pool members
Staff of CWD
Community based organizations
CWD will strengthen its organizational and human resources in a following manner
Ensure that CWD will have the appropriate staff complement for the challenges it will be facing to implement future programs
Enhance the competency of the staff involved in building solidarity to reflect the core Identity of the organization
Strengthen the capability of the staff to learn and share i.e., document, analysis disseminate lessons etc
Improve the system of internal program/project monitoring and evaluation, as well as the system of periodic financial Audit of projects, in order to enhance program performance, management accountability and the results oriented staff
Strengthen the staff development program in order to improve the competency and commitment
CWD will expand and strengthen its advocacy programs – in support of policies, strategies and programs that promote good governance and sustainable development.Success factors.
CWD is well recognized by the society, civil society organizations, political parties, Government officials, donors, international organizations and media
The Board – is recognized of its credible composition of Academics for commitment and high repute
CWD staff- committed, work as a team, capable of working in difficult circumstances and have field experience with women
Long years of experience and exposure to problems
Good relations with women’s organizations
Good relation with the NGO Council
Formed women’s groups at villages
Conducted base line survey on needs assessment
Ability to work with other communities and religious groups
Ability to mobilize volunteers
Good organizing capacity
Good computer skill
Developed a website for the centre and updating
Good report writing –in Tamil
Write articles to press on women’s issues
Collect articles for the magazine
Member of the National Committee on women, ministry of child development and women’s empowerment,
Ms. Saroja Sivachandran M.A, established good links with national and international women’s organizations.
Having good rapport with the Government officers and the community based rural organizations. Conduct gender related programs organized by the centre as well as to other organizations. Participated in many international and local programs related to women. Participated at the Geneva Human rights council conference and also conference organized by the minority rights group. Serves as a core group member at the Council of NGOs Jaffna and the Governing council member of the National Peace council. Credibility adds also as a Council member of the University of Jaffna. She also has developed a good rapport with the Human rights commission –Jaffna. Served before as an advisory committee member in the Ministry of human rights.
Driver to drive our three wheeler
Field staff uses our two motor Bikes
Staff members are given in house training on monthly basis
Credibility (Recognition by the people and Government officers)
Well elite board
Good public relations
Well established links with local and international women’s organizations
Staff lacks language skills other than Tamil
Women get married and leave the job
Graduates leave the jobs once they get a government permanent job
Experience staff leave for better salaries
No permanent building or training centre
No war, Open transport facilities, Contacts with the southern organizations
Donors visit the project sites
Able to travel and get the needed beneficiaries
Political interferences, negative attitude of the Government on NGOs, Trained staff leave for better salaried job,
Getting PTF approval
CWD will follow the set of values in carrying out this mission programs
Justice and equity
we believe that true development is possible only when justice and equity reign in the community and in the Nation as a whole. This includes promoting human rights and social justice. This also includes equity in the treatment of all persons regardless of race, religion, age or gender. Gender equity should be ensured in all development programs and projects.
Unity and peace
We believe that unity and peace are indispensable elements of true development. Given the diversity of our cultural and religious beliefs, the differences in our social and economic life and the differences in our political views, we should strive to achieve unity among ourselves in this country.
We believe that development to be responsive to the situation and needs of the people and also be for the people , by the people and of the people. Women who we intend to benefit from our programs and projects should be able to participate at every stage of our development efforts. This is going to be our aim of community empowerment.
In achieving these credible values of people’s participation and community empowerment CWD will continue to work with the community particularly women in the light of realities and future challenges.