The network, Mothers and Daughters of Lanka (MDL) was established in 1989. It is a coalition of women’s organizations, which came together to fight against political violence by both State and Non-State Agencies. MDL consists of women’s organizations working at the community level – in the Free Trade Zones, plantations, semi urban and rural sectors and in conflict affected areas. Among its constituency are women from diverse ethnic communities and religious backgrounds. The coalition has been involved in campaigns that oppose political violence and violence against women; and support peace and a political solution to the conflict in Sri Lanka. It has also been actively involved in campaigning for women’s political representation and to increase women’s presence at decision making level.
To mark international days such as International Women’s Day (8th March), International Human Rights Day (10th December) and May Day (1st May), MDL has initiated a number of activities at the national level to both celebrate these anniversaries and to raise awareness on a range of women’s issues.
MDL has participated in national campaigns such as the Campaign for Peace with Democracy; the Campaign Against Political Violence and Domestic Violence; the Campaign Against Freedom From Fear and most recently has been a member of the broad alliance Sri Lankan Women for Peace and Democracy. MDL campaigns on violence against women have focused on issues of rape, sexual harassment and domestic violence.
MDL works with other Sri Lankan networks, such as the Movement for Free and Fair Elections (MFFE), People’s Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL), and the Action Forum for Migrant Workers (ACTFORM).