WMC condoles demise of Pearl Stephen

Women and Media Collective is deeply saddened by the sudden demise of Pearl Stephen, Founder and Director of Women’s Development Centre (WDC), Kandy. She has been working tirelessly for the past three decades for the welfare of women and girls, especially to end violence against women. The first shelter in Kandy for women victims of domestic violence was set up by Pearl in 1984 and as the number of women seeking shelter from violence grew, she increased the number of shelters in Kandy. WDC now has a presence in the Central, Northern and Eastern provinces of Sri Lanka. WMC’s long drawn association with Pearl Stephen includes highlights such as the Beijing Platform for Action in 1995 as well as the advocacy work from 2001 onwards that led to the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act of 2005. Pearl’s immense contributions towards the wellbeing of Sri Lankan women and girls have been recognized and honored by various institutions and bodies including the Ministry of Child Development and Women’s Affairs. She will be greatly missed.