Gender Conference 2015
"Gender Conference 2015” was held in Matara, Sri Lanka creating a platform for the women leaders in the Southern province to share their experiences, challenges, and success stories. It was part of the "Empowering Vulnerable Women in Sri Lanka" project which was implemented by Save the Children, with financial assistance from the European Union. The project was conducted with the support from local NGO partners in the field namely, INDECOS in Matara and YMCA in Batticaloa Districts. The main project objective was to achieve women’s economic empowerment in order to facilitate women’s participation in decision-making, and create access and control over resources in the household, community and also in the private sector levels. As a result, the conference focused greatly on sharing project success stories, lessons learnt, and the success of the Women’s Wealth and Influence program model to empower women.
The key participants of the project were:
• Beneficiaries who proved themselves to be some of the best female leaders at the district, regional and/or national level
• Husbands of these noteworthy female leaders
• Participants whose abstracts were selected for the conference presentations
• Men and women at higher executive positions representing different stakeholders (government, NGO, Private sector, women leaders from Pradeshya Sabha, women activists, heads of women associations, and representatives of the judicial, business and academic sectors)
The "Empowerment of Vulnerable Women" project created increased access to economic development opportunities for 8,100 poor and vulnerable adolescent girls and women in the Southern and Eastern provinces of Sri Lanka. The project also improved their leadership and negotiation skills, altered their priorities, and changed societal attitudes towards women to a great extent.