Helpline for women to be open 24/7 | Daily News

Helpline for women to be open 24/7

Women and Child Affairs Ministry Secretary Darshana Senanayake said yesterday that operating hours of the helpline for women - 1938 - will be extended to 24 hours to receive complaints regarding any forms of discrimination against women, including harassment, abuse and violence.

The helpline ‘1938’ is currently operated from 8.30 am to 5.00 pm only.

Speaking at a media briefing in Colombo yesterday, she said this helpline is being extended round the clock to safeguard women’s rights and ensure their safety. The hotline will now be available late at night and early in the morning, the peak times for women to reach out for psychological assistance.

“We have received many calls since the hotline opened in 2013. We feel there is an urgency to offer more services for women in need,” she said.

She said the hotline which would be provided in all three languages could be used by women in the event they were subject to abuse or harassment at home, the workplace, a bus, train or any other public place.

She added that the operating hours were extended keeping in mind the government policy to strictly implement the law against offenders who abused women.

Women and Child Affairs Minister Chandrani Bandara said Sri Lanka will celebrate the 109th International Women’s Day under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena at the Salgadu ground in Anuradhapura on March 8, from 9 am to 12 noon.

The national ceremony will be conducted under the theme ‘Skilled woman and the beautiful world’ with the participation of over 6,000 women from across the country. Several programmes including a walk to educate women on abuse, harassment and violence against them, an exhibition and a trade fair with 100 stalls, showcasing the products of women entrepreneurs, health clinics, counselling services, a job fair and a parachuting demonstration by Sri LankaArmy Women’s Corps will be held on March 7 and 8, parallel to Women’s Day, the Minister said.


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