Ashley Judd empathetic towards Sri Lanka war victims
Ashley Jude, the Hollywood actress and UN Goodwill ambassador said that she was empathetic towards Sri Lanka’s war victims.
Speaking to reporters in Colombo following a visit to the country, Judd said she did not have an opportunity to visit the North but was aware of the suffering the people had to face during the conflict.
The actress said that if she gets an opportunity she would like to visit the North.
Judd also raised concerns over some divorce laws in Sri Lanka as well as female genital mutilation.
She noted that gender based sexual harassment continues in Sri Lanka, particularly in public transport.
Ashley Judd has been one of the leading voices in the #MeToo movement which quickly caught up in Sri Lanka with some Sri Lankan women going public about incidents of sexual abuse they faced.
A victim of gender based violence herself, Judd said that she was molested when she was seven years old and experienced three rapes and is a survivor of sexual harassment which put the spotlight on her recently in the United States.
“We need safe spaces where we can talks to one another to find our voices and continue to have the courage and resilience to speak our truth with dignity and respect,” she said.
In Sri Lanka to promote the work of the UNFPA, Ashley Judd met stakeholders from the public sector, private sector and donor community to highlight the importance of investing in the reproductive health and rights of women and girls.
She hailed the move by Sri Lanka to ensure that at least 25 percent of women are represented in the local councils through the upcoming Local Government elections.
“I am excited for you on the upcoming elections,” she said while also raising concerns over the harassment of female candidates.
At the end of her visit to Sri Lanka, Judd met members of the local film community to share views on how film can be used as a tool to increase awareness on issues relating to gender based violence and the importance of reproductive health and rights and sexuality education.