Colombo (AsiaNews) - In Sri Lanka, every 90
seconds a woman is a victim of sexual violence. The
data is provided by the Women's Action
for Social Justice (WASJ), an organization for the care and protection of
women's rights. But
the abuse of women - representing 53% of the country's population - does not
stop at rape in the workplace, they are often exploited and badly paid, more
often than not, they find themselves forced to go abroad to seek employment and
support the family. WASJ
emphasizes that women's conditions have profound consequences, on the family,
children, and the entire community. On
October 2 last the Association held an awareness raising seminar on the theme
"Eradicating all forms of violence against women, with a female
meeting was hosted by the Centre for Society and Religion (CSR) of Maradana.
WASJ member Sister Christine Noel commented that, "in today's society, the woman is the most oppressed and less valued of human beings." In fact, at least 450 thousand women estate workers earn just 295 rupees (about 1.7 euro) per day and nearly 200 thousand migrant workers - many of them children - are abused. The majority of Sri Lankans leave to find work, are employed as maids and waitresses, often suffering violence and torture.
Another alarming fact about the female population of the north (the majority Tamil area most affected by the civil war, ed): here, 46% of mothers suffer from malnutrition, and about 29% of children under five are underweight.
The situation is difficult for young people (boys and girls) who work as laborers in the Free Trade Zone or in the textile industry: according to WASJ, at least 400 thousand are underpaid.