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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on the Women's Wellbeing Survey

Fact Sheet

The Women's Wellbeing Survey (WWS) is the first ever dedicated survey on the prevalence of violence against women and girls conducted in all 25 districts. The Survey was conducted on all women above 15 years of age with a focus on Intimate Partner Violence (IPV). IPV is defined as physical, sexual, economic, emotional or other forms of harm perpetrated by a current or former partner or spouse.

This document is a summary of the methodology and other areas extracted from the main report. Read through for the methodology, justification, data collection teams and other frequently asked questions on the Survey.

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Fast Facts of the Women's Wellbeing Survey 2019

Fact Sheet

The Women's Wellbeing Survey (WWS) is the first ever dedicated survey on the prevalence of violence against women and girls conducted in all 25 districts. The Survey was conducted on all women above 15 years of age with a focus on Intimate Partner Violence (IPV). IPV is defined as physical, sexual, economic, emotional or other forms of harm perpetrated by a current or former partner or spouse.

Get the key findings of the Survey.

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RESPONDING TO THE NEEDS OF WOMEN AND GIRLS DURING COVID-19

Annual Report

UNFPA is the United Nations’ sexual and reproductive health agency. Since UNFPA started its work in 1969, the world has seen progress: The number and rate of women dying from
complications of pregnancy or childbirth has been halved. Families are healthier. Young people are more connected and empowered than ever before. Women and girls are empowered to make choices on their reproductive rights.

More effort however, needs to be focused on those left behind. In Sri Lanka one in five (20.4%) ever-partnered women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime (Women’s Wellbeing Survey, 2019). Young people have limited access to comprehensive sexuality education with a reported 50% unaware about most aspects of basic sexual and reproductive issues, which exposes them to higher risks of HIV and unplanned pregnancies (National Youth Health Survey, 2013 & 2014). The COVID-19 pandemic has also hampered progress, further exacerbating inequalities and existing vulnerabilities. Much more needs to be done to ensure a world in which all individuals can exercise their human rights, including those that relate to the most intimate and fundamental aspects of life.

UNFPA is working in Sri Lanka and the world-over to achieve three transformative results in line with the International Conference on Population and Development Agenda to ensure:
»» Zero unmet need for family planning
»» Zero preventable maternal deaths
»» Zero gender-based violence and harmful practices

To drive these results locally, UNFPA in Sri Lanka dedicated the year 2020 to comprehensively mainstream results based management across all functions of the organisation.

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We Are With Her

Publication

Violence can impact women physically, psychologically and economically, and has serious implications on their health, their families, and communities. Responding to this violence requires a range of interlinked actions.

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) together with the Government of Canada in partnership with the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Pre-schools and Primary Education, School Infrastructure and Education Service is working towards improving services and support for survivors of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV).

Every individual featured in this publication passionately contributed to improving services for SGBV survivors in Sri Lanka, both at National and Sub-National levels in the Mannar and Hambantota districts through the project titled ‘We Are With Her’. This is a two and a half year project aimed at positioning public sector officials as advocates working to address violence against women and girls.
 

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My Body is My Own: Claiming the right to autonomy and self-determination

State of World Population Report

In 2019, the Nairobi Statement called for the protection of individuals’ right to bodily integrity, autonomy and to provide access to essential services in support of these rights, building on international commitments in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Further momentum has come this year through the Generation Equality Forum, which is building on the achievements of the 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women to aim for gender equality by 2030.

Through the 2021 State of World Population (SWOP) UNFPA is highlighting why bodily autonomy is a universal right that must be upheld. The 2021 SWOP report, entitled “My body is my own: Claiming the right to autonomy and self-determination,” will be the stepping stone for UNFPA’s advocacy and communications around the topic of bodily autonomy throughout 2021.

The report covers many aspects of bodily autonomy but centers on SDG indicator 5.6.1, which measures women’s power to make autonomous decisions about health care, contraception, and saying no to sex with their husbands or partners. The report also covers indicator 5.6.2, which assesses how countries’ laws and policies support or hinder sexual and reproductive health and rights.

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Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in Sri Lanka: An analysis of the available Literature & Annotated Bibliography

Publication

The subject of SGBV in Sri Lanka has interested researchers for a long time.1 Most research has been done at sub-national or local level, focusing on specific aspects of the issue or targeting selected sub populations or community groups, and often hospital based. However, there is a dearth of national-level data.

The purpose of this literature review is to make available the prevalence and accessible research evidence on SGBV in Sri Lanka. It is expected that this document will be a collection of information for future researchers to use.

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Mapping of social services sector for the prevention and response to sexual and gender-based violence affecting women and girls

Publication

This rapid mapping of the social services sector response for survivors of sexual and gender based violence elaborates on the requirements to strengthening and sustaining SGBV responses while highlighting the importance of timely implementation of the UNFPA assisted multi-sectoral National Action Plan on Women Headed Households. 

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Addressing Birth Defects from the Lens of Human Rights & Inclusion

Addressing Birth Defects from the Lens of Human Rights & Inclusion

Publication

UNFPA Sri Lanka hosted a panel discussion at the 9th International Conference on Birth Defects and Disabilities in the Developing World (ICBD) which was held from 23rd to 25th February 2020 in Colombo.

The session took the form of a dialogue focused on a human rights and gender equality angle to disability and birth defects. The dialogue highlighted rights-based approaches to promote inclusion and accept
diversity of people with disabilities; and providing SRH services and comprehensive sexuality education to them. This post-dialogue brief provides a snapshot of the panel discussion and advocacy pointers that can assist in evidence-based policymaking.

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Women’s Wellbeing Survey - 2019

Publication

In 2019, the Department of Census and Statistics conducted the first dedicated national prevalence survey on violence against women. Known as the Women’s Wellbeing Survey (WWS) it covered all 25 districts in Sri Lanka and interviewed more than 2,200 women aged 15 and above. The study found that in Sri Lanka, one in five (20.4%) ever-partnered women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime. In analyzing women’s coping strategies when living with violence by a partner, the study found that nearly half (49.3%) of the women who experienced sexual violence by a partner did not seek formal help anywhere due to reasons such as shame, embarrassment, and fear of being blamed or not being believed, and/or thinking the violence was normal or not serious enough to seek help. Violence by partners in any form can have a significant impact on women’s health and wellbeing and is also interconnected with the socio-economic recovery from crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

This Women’s Wellbeing Study was technically supported by the United Nations Population Fund with financial assistance from the Government

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Health Sector Response to Gender Based Violence: National Guideline for First Contact Point Health Care Providers

Health Sector Response to Gender Based Violence: National Guideline for First Contact Point Health Care Providers

Publication

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) is the lead UN agency working to further gender equality and women’s empowerment in Sri Lanka. We are pleased to be a part of the joint effort with the Ministry of Health to develop the first ‘Standard Operating Procedures on sexual and gender-based violence for first-contact-point healthcare providers. 

Gender-based violence is one of the most prevalent human rights violations in the world. It is estimated that globally 1 out of 3 women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence in their lifetime. When women and girls are victims of violence, they are more likely to become vulnerable to forced and unwanted pregnancies, unsafe abortions, and sexually transmitted infections including HIV, let alone long-lasting psychological trauma.

These operating procedures were developed alongside the ‘National guidelines on sexual and gender-based violence’, which aims to strengthen Sri Lanka’s health systems response to survivors of violence.UNFPA  stands ready to provide continued assistance to the Government of Sri Lanka and all key stakeholders to ensure women and girls receive essential services that support their safety, well-being and access to justice and to create a violence-free Sri Lanka.

 

 

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