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Shyamala Gomez

Shyamala Gomez is the Executive Director of Centre for Equality and Justice (CEJ). She is a lawyer with two decades of experience in gender and women’s rights. She has researched and published extensively on violence against women, masculinities, rights of migrant workers, land rights of women, women and politics, and women, peace and security. She was the Country Director of FOKUS WOMEN and her illustrious career spans across organisations such as United Nations, International Labour Organisation, and Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions. In this interview with Women Talk, Shyamala discusses her work in a gender space, her journey into women’s rights and law, the findings of CEJ’s study on sexual bribery, the disparities between laws and implementation, the significance of joint co-ownership of land for women, and bringing gender as a vital component into the pedagogy of law. Continue reading Shyamala Gomez

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Dr Sepali Kottegoda

Dr Sepali Kottegoda is the Executive Director of the Women and Media Collective. She has decades of experience working on women’s rights and gender in Sri Lanka. In this interview with Women Talk, Sepali reflects on the formative years of the women’s movement in Sri Lanka and discusses reconciliation, political representation, unpaid care work, and sexuality education through a women’s rights lens. Continue reading Dr Sepali Kottegoda

Radhika Hettiarachchi

Radhika Hettiarachchi is a development practitioner, arts curator, and researcher who has worked extensively in the areas of reconciliation, peace, and conflict. In this interview with Women Talk, Radhika talks about the significance of the Herstories and the Community Memorialisation Project that curate and archive narratives of resilience and hope in times of war and peace in Sri Lanka. The projects draw on the forms of letter writing, memory mapping, trees of life, multimedia, arts, and exhibitions to document and share oral narratives of women and communities that otherwise may have vanished from history. Continue reading Radhika Hettiarachchi

Nalini Ratnarajah

Nalini Ratnarajah is a human rights activist and a feminist, who has dedicated decades of her life, advocating for gender equality, justice, and peace. In this interview, Nalini talks about her challenging journey as an activist and human rights defender. She discusses women’s participation in politics, her own experiences in contesting parliamentary elections, the need of contextualising transitional justice processes, and issues relating to female ex-combatants in the East. Continue reading Nalini Ratnarajah

Thulasi Muttulingam

Thulasi Muttulingam is the creator of Humans of Northern Sri Lanka, a Facebook page dedicated to telling stories of people and communities in the North of Sri Lanka. She is also a journalist and feature writer. In this interview with Women Talk, Thulasi talks about having grown up in the Maldives, her return to Sri Lanka, her journey into journalism, her passion for writing about social issues, and her latest research-based work on women, labour, and migration. Continue reading Thulasi Muttulingam

Vanee Surendranathan

Vanee Surendranathan has over two decades of experience working in the NGO sector. Her specialties focus on community mental health and disability. In this interview, she talks about the significance of community approaches for mental health, issues relating to mental health and the ageing population of Sri Lanka, and the need of paying attention to mental health issues within reconciliation and transitional justice processes. Continue reading Vanee Surendranathan

Sulochana Peiris

Sulochana Peiris shares her experiences of making documentaries on women, peace, and security in Sri Lanka and other parts of Asia. In this interview with Women Talk, she discusses what it is like to have captured the untold stories of women affected by the 30-year long civil war in Sri Lanka. She also reveals how Yoga has become an inspirational and inseparable part of her life. Continue reading Sulochana Peiris

Amalini De Sayrah

Amalini De Sayrah is a photo journalist passionate about social issues. Her photography projects capture diverse social themes, such as reconciliation, women headed households in the North, food cultures, mental health, and urban development. In this interview with Women Talk, Amalini talks about her photo journalism work, her work at the Centre for Policy Alternatives, the role of social media platforms in engaging young photographers, and how she sees travel as an opportunity to look at the society around her through a humanistic lens. Continue reading Amalini De Sayrah