Sunday, July 22, 2018

Learnings for SLU from WUSC Sri Lanka_Women Friendly Cities Challenge

On the 17th of July, Sri Lanka Unites took part in a workshop hosted by the National Chamber of Commerce and WUSC Sri Lanka
This was a great learning for the two female participants who represented SLU at the event.

Key messages
The discussions at the event were centered around women employment and engaged in industrial occupations.

The key message of the panel was encouraging women participation in sectors such as local government, hospitality, engineering, and other industries that may significantly low numbers of women employees, based on their observations. The panel also shared that industries such as education and health women show relatively better rates of participation unlike their contribution to sectors the political sectors, noting that Sri Lanka is ranked at 109 out of 144 countries in the Global Gender Gap, compiled by the World Economic Forum in 2017.

While introducing the status of women engagement in employment, the forum discussed the principles of women friendly cities. A woman friendly city should ideally consist of elements such as
·         safe transport for women,
·         education,
·         health care,
·         high quality and comprehensive urban services.

Women must also have access mechanisms to guarantee the fulfillment of their right, if  subjected to violence. A key recommendation in terms of increasing new channels of political engagement on the issue is to encourage local governments woman’s issues and perspectives into account when planning and decision making.

Learning for Sri Lanka Unites

The session was an interesting learning point for Sri Lanka Unites. We currently conduct Diploma courses for upto 500 youth per year, at 5 educational hubs in 5 provinces. The diploma courses are provided free-of-charge to young people who cannot afford expenses of any other means of education after their alevels. The courses are in English Language , ICT and Entrepreneurship. The centers are named “Sri Lanka Unites Reconciliation Centers”, which provide peace-building education while students study their courses, producing well rounded, productive citizens who advocate for peace and harmony in their communities while contributing to uplift its economy.

Since introducing the courses in 2012 in Mullaitivu, followed by hubs in Matara, Kalmunai, Moneragala and Nuwara-eliya, many students have secured white-collar jobs or started their own businesses. Sri Lanka Unites is keen to use the learnings from this session to encourage our female students at each center to enter the sectors which lack women participation. We strive to introduce mentorship on these particular sectors to our students as part of their training, so they would pick-up additional skills and be ready to contribute to specific sectors of the workforce when they graduate from the SLU Reconciliation Centers.

Students attending lectures on 
English Language, ICT and 
Entrepreneurship studies (above)
and sitting for exams at the
end of 6 months (left) to
obtain a diploma certificate 

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