Serious gaps have been identified in the services and opportunities available for war affected women, especially war widows including military widows and female-headed households, the Office for National Unity and Reconciliation (ONUR) said.
The ONUR with the Ministry of Women and Child Affairs have embarked on an ambitious journey to promote the role of women in reconciliation.
“It has been brought to ONUR’s notice that post-conflict programmes for peace-building and reconciliation, accord insufficient attention to the vast range of problems faced by women and that there exist serious gaps in the services and opportunities available to war affected women, especially war widows including military widows and female-headed households,” ONUR said.
Following several consultations, personal security issues related to the post-conflict context (and violence against women in general), psycho-social support, social security issues and livelihood development related issues have been identified as priority areas.
To initiate this long term process and as an immediate step to provide relief to affected women, ONUR and Ministry of Women and Child Affairs are organizing the “Liya/MahalirShakthi” programme in collaboration with the Registrar General’s Department, Registration of Person’s Department, the Department of Pensions, the Department of Immigration and Emigration, the District Secretary’s Office & the Divisional Secretariats to issue vital documents to those women who have so far been unable to obtain such documents due to various challenges.
As the first phase of this programme, stalled cases have been identified with the assistance of the District Secretary in Killinochchi and over 1500 cases have been sent to the relevant departments to identify as to why there have been delays in the issuance of documents or why documents were not issued so far.
The next step is to take the resolved cases back to Killinochchi and to complete the necessary formalities with the relevant person so that the document issue can take place thereafter so that affected women can access the benefits and services available to them.
The Kilinochchi district events were organized with the support of National Center for the Empowerment of Widows and Women Headed Families affiliated to the Ministry of Women and Child Affairs. ONUR and the Ministry of Women’s Affairs intend to continue this programme into other provinces during the rest of the year and the beginning of 2017. (Colombo Gazette)