Only until the rice is cooked?: the Domestic Violence Act, familial ideology, and cultural narratives in Sri Lanka

Kodikara, C., & International Centre for Ethnic Studies (Sri Lanka). (2012). Only until the rice is cooked?: the Domestic Violence Act, familial ideology, and cultural narratives in Sri Lanka. International Center for Ethnic Studies.

This Working Paper is part of a research study on domestic violence in Sri Lanka conducted by the International Centre for Ethnic Studies (ICES), which included a mapping of domestic violence intervention services across Sri Lanka. Women Defining Peace (WDP), which assisted Sri Lankan organisations and institutions addressing connected issues of gender-based violence and women and peace building during the period 2008 – 2011, supported this study.

This paper draws from the findings of a quantitative mapping of domestic violence services conducted by the International Centre for Ethnic Studies (ICES) between 2009-2011, which included meetings with a range of experts including activists, lawyers, and public officials. In addition, it draws on indepth interviews with Prof. Savitri Goonesekere and Kumudini Samuel,women’s rights activists intimately acquainted with the history and substance of the PDVA, and, a telephone interview with Dhara Wijyatileke, former Secretary to the Ministry of Justice, Government of Sri Lanka, who played a pivotal role in steering the Act through Parliament. Finally, the paper relies on the Parliamentary debates on the PDVA reported in the Hansard and builds on secondary research focusing on domestic violence in Sri Lanka and elsewhere.

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