Building a Country for Every Citizen

Who we are

The Association of War Affected Women (AWAW) was established in the year 2000 to create a space for war affected women, specifically mothers and wives, of those who are missing to come together across the divide to work for peace.

We are also deeply committed to safeguarding democracy and rights of all, particularly women’s rights and advancement, as we believe that people’s rights must be safeguarded and democracy has to be strengthened in order to create a conducive atmosphere for peace to prevail. We are working towards a peaceful Sri Lanka, where all its peoples will be able to live with dignity, enjoying equal rights. 

Visaka Dharmadasa – Founder and Chair of Association of War Affected Women and Parents of Servicemen Missing in Action
Read more

For the past 24 years the Association of War Affected Women’s work has centred on conflict transformation and sustainable peace building in Sri Lanka.

In order to achieve our goal, we work with many stakeholders throughout the country and beyond; including clergy of all faith, academia, professionals, women, men and youth of the country in all districts to safeguard human rights and strengthen good governance and democracy.

We are also working extensively on peace, security and development issues mainly from women’s perspectives, producing numerous policy briefs, advocacy work, delivering trainings and working nationally, regionally and globally on the Women’s Peace and Security agenda.

Why Women’s Perspective?

When it comes to war and violence women are the most affected, either directly or indirectly. These affected women can be classified into two main groups; women who’s next of kin is dead, disabled or missing in action, the other is the next of kin who is a civilian has befallen to one of these unfortunate situations due to the war.  The main objective of our Association is to help these women to integrate into society from their isolated situation by addressing their social, economic and mental problems and achieve Peace through Socio-Economic development with the active participation of the War Affected Women.

ICAN: Road to Reconciliation, Justice, Hope, Dignity and Strong Democratic Institutions in Sri Lanka – Celebrating the Pluralistic and Diverse Nature of the Republic – With Special Emphasis on Gender Equality.

Sri Lanka’s constitution is based on the pluralistic and diverse nature of the country, but this is being eroded through through the government’s autocratic nature. Funded by the International Civil Society Action Network (ICAN), we aimed to strengthen the grass root level work of women peacebuilders through peer committees, as well as working with key civil society leaders, religious leaders, trade union leaders, academics, civil society leaders, professional and women leaders through well planned strategic interventions, including advocacy and lobbying in a timely manner with important policy makers, increasing awareness of the general public of the importance of democracy and pluralism.

UKRI GCRF Gender, Justices and Security Hub

The project, funded by the London School of Economics with the scope of building social harmony through a series of activities on women’s economic empowerment and awareness building of new & emerging threats from the political environment and their on the ground realities. The main aim of this project is to bring rural women together across the divide to work together for a prosperous economy & build a shared future.


Women Mediators across the Commonwealth, Funded by Conciliation Resources

The launch of Sri Lanka Women Mediators Network was successfully held on Tuesday the 30th of March 2021 at Amaya Hills, Kandy from 10.00 a.m. to 02.00 p.m. High Court Judge Madam Kusala Sarojini Weerawardena graced the occasion as the chief guest. Influential dignitaries such as Hon. Governor, former minister of women, former minister of housing, parliament members, provincial council and local level women politicians, Members of SMART 75 and TEAM1325 also attended the event.

Our Global Involvements