Road to reconciliation
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Transitional justice and reconciliation processes are vital steps in the direction of sustainable peace. This is relevant in Sri Lanka where the government has embarked on two parallel processes of reconciliation.
AWAW has carried out several activities on the topic of gendered transitional justice and reconciliation processes.
Recognizing that this is a time of immense importance for the country and acknowledging how conflict affects people and communities in the most profound ways, AWAW designed this project which envisaged a two-pronged approach in complimenting the task undertaken by the Government of Sri Lanka on the reconciliation process in the country. That is,
- Take the message of the importance of transitional justice mechanisms in order to move forward to the grass roots though women and civil society leaders.
- Use media, both mainstream and social, to take the message to a wider public.
The project was carried out over several months, through several activities such as brainstorming meetings and workshops for Police higher officials, NGOs and government officials on Transitional Justice, provincial level meetings for provincial/local leaders to disseminate the core components of a gendered Transitional Justice and Reconciliation process and to draft key messages on reconciliation to be used for all advocacy purposes and finally a Massive Advocacy campaign covering universities and student’s as well general public throughout the country.
The methodology used was, the ICAN animation on transitional justice and lessons learned from the best international practices while also the lessons learned from the Sri Lankan experience was been shared. Additionally, the project has provided an opportunity to discuss the Better Peace Tool (BPT) of ICAN to help ensure gender sensitivity in the design, substance and inclusion of all groups, especially women, in the key components of the reconciliation process and to help determine the range of technical, political and financial resources needed for these processes.
Overall, the project brought very positive outcomes. A powerful and effective key message on reconciliation was been spread and it enhanced the awareness on gendered transitional justice processes for seventy-five armed forces, NGO workers and government officials of Sri Lanka.
Also hundred provincial level leaders now possess knowledge on the basic principles of transitional justice and the advantages of gendered transitional justice processes.
Lastly the project enabled the reach to make aware mainly the 5 government entities who are working on reconciliation and thousands of people, among universities, higher grade students and general public on the importance of having women’s voices in reconciliation.