Caritas Sri Lanka hosted an unforgettable celebration in honour of International Women’s Day on March 7, 2024, at the auditorium. This event aimed to recognize and amplify the diverse voices of women from various communities, including those from the plantation community, North and East regions, political activists, and social workers. The atmosphere was filled with anticipation as women gathered to commemorate this significant occasion.

The event commenced with a warm welcome to all attendees, particularly those representing marginalized communities. National Director Rev. Fr. Luke Nelson set the tone by lighting the oil lamp, symbolizing the illumination of women’s rights and contributions. His opening remarks echoed the importance of celebrating the achievements and resilience of women in society.

Following the welcoming ceremony, Sr. Deepa provided a brief introduction to the program, highlighting its objectives and structure. The celebration unfolded in two sessions, each featuring personal experiences, expert insights, and cultural performances.

The first session began with a powerful narrative shared by a woman from a disappeared family, shedding light on the harrowing experiences endured during times of war. Dr Ajantha and Ms Achala, both esteemed figures in their fields, offered valuable perspectives on women’s rights and empowerment. The session was further enriched by a soulful performance by Ms. Thyagi, who captivated the audience with her performance honouring women’s strength and resilience.

In the second session, a woman from a free trade zone shared her journey, illustrating the challenges and triumphs of women in the workforce. A thought-provoking video clip showcased the multifaceted roles of women across different sectors, sparking discussions on gender equality and representation. Dr Ajantha and Ms Achala continued to engage the audience with their insightful commentary, encouraging dialogue and reflection.

The event’s climax featured women from various backgrounds – plantation workers, rubber and tea, farmer community, and fisherwomen – sharing their stories of perseverance and empowerment. Their narratives underscored the importance of solidarity and support within communities.

As the celebration drew to a close, a movie clip titled “The Voice of Women” resonated deeply with attendees, amplifying the collective voice of women worldwide. The program concluded with heartfelt gratitude expressed through a vote of thanks and the singing of the national anthem, symbolizing unity and pride.

The International Women’s Day 2024 Celebration at Caritas Sri Lanka was more than just an event; it witnessed the strength, resilience, and indomitable spirit of women from all walks of life. By providing a platform for their voices to be heard, Caritas Sri Lanka reaffirmed its commitment to gender equality and social justice, ensuring that every woman’s story is acknowledged and celebrated.