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Caritas gets women to take the lead

Male shortage means widows and single females need to be able to handle village affairs themselves

Caritas gets women to take the lead
Father Eric Roshan, the parish priest of St Anthony reporter, Jaffna
Sri Lanka

May 11, 2011

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Caritas is forming “single women’s groups” in former war zones in the north of the country to take leading roles in village affairs due to a shortage of menfolk. According to Caritas, many villages around Jaffna now have predominately female populations because thousands of men were killed during the war, thousands of others left the country and because thousands are still being kept in displacement camps. Caritas has therefore begun to form women’s groups in every parish in Kilinochchi deanery and is conducting leadership programs for single women, including war widows, to train them in different fields including planning, administration and counseling. “Women have to break the chain of traditional thought, be the bread winners and should handle everything,” said Father Arulanandam Johnaly Yavis, head of Caritas in Kilinochchi “That means even handling legal issues,” he said. Caritas says ten groups have already been formed in Mulankavil, Valaipadu and Poonery villages in Kilinochchi district. Each group consists of 25 women. According to Raveendran Nesananthini, administrative officer of Kilinochchi deanery, Caritas along with officials from Department of Planning and Disaster Management are also enlightening the women’s groups in many fields including human rights issues, banking and law. Related reports Sri Lankan widows still lag behind Jaffna communities living in fear as violence returns Sri Lankan war widows clear landmines for a living SR14172

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