People for Equality and Relief in Lanka (PEARL) marked Tamil Women’s Day yesterday with a statement that paid tribute to Tamil women and called on organisations around the world to “actively oppose traditional gender roles in favor of substantive equity”.
“On Tamil Women’s Day, PEARL remembers the women who were at the forefront of the Tamil struggle for rights and self-determination, and pays homage to the women who continue to fight the ongoing oppression of the Sri Lankan government,” began the statement.
It went on to note that “Tamil women in the homeland continue to struggle today under the Sri Lankan government”.
“As the Sri Lankan government tries to ignore the thousands who were forcibly disappeared, Tamil women remain staunch in their commitment to answers. In the ongoing battle for the return of land, Tamil women remain relentless. Despite enduring sexism, sexual harassment, attempts of depoliticization, sexual and physical violence, torture, and amplified poverty during the pandemic, Tamil women continue to persevere.”
The statement concluded with a call “to encourage all Tamil organizations on the island and within the diaspora to ensure equal participation of women in decision-making roles; to train leadership on preventing, identifying and responding to allegations of sexual harassment and abuse; and to actively oppose traditional gender roles in favor of substantive equity”.
“After all, our history shows us that it is with women with a revolutionary consciousness to lead, that we will destroy the shackles of oppression,” PEARL added.