Life Free From Violence

CARE International’s Global Lead for Ending Gender Based Violence

Since February 2017 Chrysalis has led the global strategy on Gender Based Violence for CARE International as its Affiliate in Sri Lanka.  This is the first time a CARE entity from the global south led one of the confederations critical outcomes.

In August 2020 CARE International adopted ‘CARE VISION 2030’ outlining the confederations joint ambitions to save lives, defeat poverty, and achieve social justice. Ending gender-based violence falls within the global impact area of gender equality, one of six impact areas that will help deliver Vision 2030.

Chrysalis’s role involves providing thought leadership, technical expertise, innovation, impact measurement, scaling and learning on GBV across the confederation and facilitating alignment to CARE’s Vision 2030.

Learn more about CARE’s GBV Programming

A Journey to a Life Free From Violence

The following report documents Chrysalis’ contribution to leading CARE’s global strategy on gender based violence* between February 2017 to April 2021, and captures outcomes, reflections on some critical gains, highlights, and lessons learned.

*Prior to adopting Vision 2030, CARE’s global outcome on gender-based violence was referred to as a Life Free From Violence (LFFV). 

Report: LFFV Lessons Learned|Key Milestones: LFFV Infographic

People Leading Change 

May 2021 to date

Thiagi Piyadasa represents Chrysalis as the Global Lead to End GBV for CARE International. Thiagi has over 15 years’ experience in the human rights and development sector as a researcher and development practitioner, and is a human rights lawyer. Thiagi served as Gender Advisor with Oxfam Australia in Sri Lanka where she provided programmatic leadership for gender mainstreaming for Oxfam’s programs in economic justice and conflict prevention, and overall direction to the gender justice program with a specific focus on addressing gender based violence, promoting gender equality, and rights for women and girls in rural and war affected communities.

As a researcher Thiagi was previously attached to the International Centre for Ethnic Studies (ICES) and the Law & Society Trust (LST), and her recent research has focused on technology facilitated violence against women and girls, underage marriages and marriage laws in Sri Lanka, and protection and torture.

Thiagi has served as a technical specialist and consultant for The Asia Foundation, International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), Strategic Inspirations (Pvt) Ltd, the Social Scientists’ Association (SSA), and the USAID CORE Justice Project.

Thiagi continues to practice law with a focus on public law, human rights, family law and criminal law.

February 2017 – April 2021

Jayanthi Kuru-Utumpala is a women’s rights activist with over 15 years of experience in the field of women’s rights and gender equality. From 2017 to 2021, through her work with Chrysalis, Jayanthi provided global strategic leadership to CARE International’s programming on prevention and response to Gender Based Violence in all the countries that CARE works in.

As an independent consultant, she is currently co-creating ‘Delete Nothing’ – a trilingual platform aimed at documenting and providing resources to address technology related violence in Sri Lanka. She is also the current Chairperson of the Sexual Harassment Complaints Committee of the Sri Lanka National Olympic Committee.

In 2016 she was appointed the first ever Goodwill Ambassador for Women’s Rights, by the Ministry of Women and Child Affairs, Sri Lanka, as a result of her becoming the first Sri Lankan person to summit Mount Everest. As her journey to Everest has combined two of the things she’s most passionate about – gender equality and mountaineering – she continues to use the public platform that she has now received to challenge gender stereotypes and promote the rights of women and girls at every opportunity. Jayanthi holds a master’s degree in Gender Studies from the University of Sussex, UK. For more details, see her LinkedIn profile here.

Zainab Ibrahim represented Chrysalis as a global lead on work to End GBV for CARE International from February 2017 until April 2021.  Zainab is a feminist activist and researcher based in Sri Lanka, with a primary focus on issues of gender equality and women’s rights.

With over 15 years of experience in research, documentation, and writing, her main motivation has been to ensure that people’s lived experiences are the basis of efforts for social justice and advocacy. This has included work with Sri Lankan and International NGOs, as well as local and global teams, developing research and evaluation reports, policy and information briefs, and documentation of under-represented histories and practices for public record.

Her most recent work includes co-creating a trilingual platform to document violence against people in technology related spaces in Sri Lanka and provide access to support and resources; a study to understand more deeply how people in Sri Lanka use the internet in their work, personal life, and activism, prioritizing the experiences of queer / LGBTQ Sri Lankans; and research and activism on the issue of Female Genital Mutilation / Cutting (FGM/C).

A Feminist Perspective on Supporting Social Movements

Between September and November 2019, the co-Leads of the LFFV Global Outcome – Zainab Ibrahim and Jayanthi Kuru-Utumpala – held a series of conversations with ten feminist allies from different parts of the world, in order to listen and learn from external perspectives on what CARE should do, or change, in order to be a better supporter to feminist movements. These perspectives were used to inform CARE’s deliberations in developing its Programme Strategy for the next decade.

Read the full report

A selection of audio clips from these conversations were shared internally at CARE as part of the #16 days of Activism campaign in 2019. Listen to them below:

Cynthia Rothschild

(Feminist Activist & Independent Consultant, New York)

Dr. Roshmi Goswami

(Board Member, Urgent Action Fund)

Tulika Srivastava

(Human Rights Lawyer & Executive Director Women's Fund Asia)

Sonia Corrêa

(Co-Chair, Sexuality Policy Watch Program, Brazilian Interdisciplinary Association for AIDS)

Kamla Bhasin

(Founder and Adviser to SANGAT - A Feminist Network)

Noelene Nabulivou

(Co-Founder, 'Diverse Voices and Action (DIVA) for Equality', Fiji)

Jasmine Lovely George

(Founder, Hidden Pockets Collective, India)

Srilatha Batliwala

(Senior Advisor, Knowledge Building, CREA & Senior Associate, Gender at Work)

Prof. Charlotte Bunch

(Founding Director & Senior Scholar, Centre for Women's Global Leadership, Rutgers University, USA)