Youth is the most valuable asset of a country. They are energetic, ambitious and visionary. Guiding them to be disciplined and exemplary citizens is the responsibility of the parents and the educated. The effort must commence at the young age and no success can be achieved if you neglect them at young age and try to reshape them once you notice that they are spoiled and incorrigible. If we concentrate on this aspect continuously and relentlessly the society will be a pleasant and comfortable place to live in.
Gender based violence and sexual harassment are common place and frequent occurrences in the society nowadays. The cause for this is the animal nature of the human overpowering the human nature of man. Liquor and hard drugs encourages this calamitous situation to a great extent. Our effort to create a well brought up youth community will greatly help to arrest this despicable situation in future. However it must be emphasized that the victims of these circumstances are the youth themselves. Unity in adversity will be a great remedy in such circumstances. Take the risk of rising against injustice, avoid vulnerable situations without waiting till you become a victim. Be bold enough to complain to the correct authorities discarding reluctant, hesitation and shyness and press the authorities to take prompt actions.
“The 100 voices” is a signature project of the UNFPA Sri Lanka, which a youth dialogue carried out to address the Sexual and Reproductive Health and Gender Based Violence situations that occur with in a society. The 3rd Youth Dialogue which was organized by the Rotaract Club of University of Sri Jayawardenapura was held on the 05th August 2015 at the United Nations compound. Representing our club Rtr. Shenali Perera, Rtr. Yoshana Premaratne, Rtr. Harshana Bulathsinghala, Rtr, Ravindu Tharaka and Rtr. Yasiru Perera had the privilege of understanding the current situation and received the motivation to react and act in the best manner in such situations.
The session was conducted by Miss. Onalie Ariyabandhu a young, energetic and pro-founding speaker who made the session very interesting. The participants were given the chance to present their suggestions about how to act against gender based violances and sexual harassment. Throughout the session many new and very productive ideas were suggested by the participants. Whilst the resource personal Miss. Onalie Ariyabandhu explained the platform and the reasons why the actions against these matters are important.
Throughout the session what was much emphasized was that there is a necessity of amending laws and policies to protect and promote sexual and reproductive health among young people also that what lacks within the society is not only the absence of powerful laws but the society is not aware of these matters and they are reluctant to act on these.
Through this youth dialogue the participants were motivated to rise and voice against sexual harassment and gender based violence.
What the participants understood mostly was that without awaiting for authoritative advice looking at the problem in the correct perspective will bring the desired change. Each individual should understand how powerful his or her ability to make the necessary changes in the mindset of the members to make the society a better place to live in. We the Rotaract Club of University of Kelaniya contemplate to make this Youth Dialogue as an encouragement and a classic example and emulate the knowledge gathered to make our activities more energetic and useful in future.
Written By: Rtr. Shenali Perera (Editor)