Category Archives: Women with Disabilities


Internews organised “Women, tech and change” the 3rd social media meet-up at Hotel Janaki in August 2017.

‘SOCIAL MEDIA INFLUENCERS MEET-UOur panel represented diverse experiences of women using technology to educate and empower our society in times of reform and change, as well as unlocking opportunities for women through technology’.

Ms. Manique Gunaratne of The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon, Specialised Training & Disability Resource Centre spoke on “work as a person with a disability, using ICT to empower/educate those with and without disabilities, as well as advocating for the use of IT among people with disabilities and training them in Information & Communication Technology, focusing on work especially with women with disabilities, in training them in IT, opportunities and challenges.

Other speakers spoke on:

Savindri – spoke on experiences as an entrepreneur, using tech as a platform for new business, and also the challenges within the spheres of tech and within the sphere of the ‘corporate’ as a woman, with both other women and men – the lack of critical discourse on gender among business community.
Tehani – spoke about SAWF’s work with grassroots women’s orgs and activists in the region and use examples of how women are using tech to educate / mobilize at the grassroots level across South Asia.
Paba – spoke on online violence against women, weak policy/no policy to address this, online safety / security as a unique issue for women and girls; how these become deterrents to women’s use of tech / social Medias’ overall touching on women’s digital rights.
Iromi – spoke on experience using tech as a researcher and activist – to gather and analyse data as well as disseminate information in the interest of public service, via social media etc. by using examples of work on constitutional reform and urban development.


Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:

1 Manique at the head table.

2 Manique presenting.

3 Pannalists

Manique Gunaratne

Sub Committee Member of Policy Development Unit of Prime Minister’s Office on Vocational, Technical Training and Employment Forcusing on Persons with Disabilities



Ms. Manique Gunaratne of The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon Network on Disability and Ms. Sagarika Wickramasekara, President of Internet Society spoke on “Women Internet Governance Forum” in the radio programme titled “Anduren Eliyata” at the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation in June 2017.


Picture description for vision impaired persons:

Manique Gunaratne, Sagarika Wickramasekara and Sujeewa Manage recording the programme.




Manique Gunaratne

E-mail –



The Disability Organisations Joint Front organized a workshop for women with disabilities in all corners of Sri Lanka on “Women’s Rights” at Help Age Sri Lanka in May 2017. Girls and women with diverse disabilities participated at this workshop. Men with disabilities were also included for this training because it is equally important men also to be aware of women’s rights. The significance of this workshop was that majority of the resource persons were women with disabilities. Ms. Manique Gunaratne of The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon Network on Disability conducted the session on rights of vision impaired women. Other speakers were, Ms. Rasanjali Pathirage, Ms. Niluka Gunawardane, Ms. Vajira and Ms. Menaka.


Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:

1 Sign language interpretation.

2 Manique speaking.

3 Manique conducting the training.

4 Participants.

5 Menaka conducting the session.

6 Rasanjali conducting the session.


Manique Gunaratne

Fax – 0094112867946



Women internet governance forum includes women with disabilities

Internet Society of Sri Lanka (ISoC Sri Lanka) Chapter conducted the first ever Women Internet Governance Forum (Women IGF) in Sri Lanka as a local event at the BMICH in May 2017.

Today, the representation of women in IT sector has been increased almost equal to the men. Even-though there are both pros and cons being a woman techie. It’s the time to talk about this topic and especially problems, difficulties and obstacles when women are reaching up to higher levels in IT industry.

Women Internet Governance Forum (Women IGF) is the platform where to raise the voice of the women of their concerns, look for answers and get the attention of the community in this regard. This initiative will move with the “Global women in IT” and “Sri Lanka National Internet Governance Forum 2017”. This was a group discussion up to 30 participants from different key areas of the society.

Ms. Manique Gunaratne of The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon, ICT Training & Disability Resource Centre did a presentation on “women with disabilities leading in the ICT field”.

The Women IGF 2017 session conducted dialogues on four topics below. The topics involved various distinguish women representatives from different areas.

Why should internet governance include consideration of gender issues?

The Internet is a feminist issue (feminists’ roles in shaping Internet policy).

Role of women in internet Governance.

Women’s voices in the public sphere.


Picture descriptions for vision impaired persons:

1 Manique receiving a token of appreciation.

2 Group photograph.

3 Manique at the head table.

4 Manique

5 Manique making presentation.

6 Manique addressing the gathering.


Manique Gunaratne

CISCO International Trainer for I T E (Information Technology Essentials)





MAS Slimtex Kuliyapitiya organized a series of programmes to celebrate International Women’s Day 2017 with its team members. Ms. Manique Gunaratne of The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon Network on Disability did a motivational speech to the team members on this day.

Picture description for vision impaired persons:

1 Celebrating International Women’s day with the team.

group photo 1

2 Team members appreciating being a great woman.

group photo 2

3 Manique speaking to team members.

manique speaking to team members

4 Management appreciating the great work.

mas management team

5 Waring the great women wrist band.

waring great women wrist band

Manique Gunaratne

Face time: 0094779571918


In December 2012 Manique Gunaratne of The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon Network on Disability and Executive Committee Member of the Asian Blind Union attended the Asian Blind Union executive committee meeting and a workshop on Project Monitorization and evaluation for women with visually impairement in New Delhi, India. It was held at Hotel Meridian Plaza.


Picture description for vision impaired persons:

At the conference.



Manique Gunaratne

Founder Members Team – South Asian Women with Disabilities Network





In August 2013 Ms. Manique Gunaratne of The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon Network on Disability, Executive Committee Member of the Asian Blind Union and General Secretary of the Sri Lanka Federation of the Visually Handicapped (2010 to 2015) was the national coordinator and the organizer to organize a seminar for visually impaired women in South Asian countries organized by the Asian Blind Union. Asian Blind Union organized a sub-regional workshop for South Asian Sub Regional countries for empowerment and strengthening of leadership and managerial skills of blind women leaders associated with its affiliated blindness organizations at Tangerine Beach Hotel, Kalutara. Asian Blind Union is one of the regional unions of World Blind Union which is the only voice of the blind at the international level and has a consultative status with the United Nations and its agencies. It has its affiliate organizations in almost all the countries of south Asian sub region, central Asian sub region and Middle East sub region. The workshop was inaugurated by its President Mr. S. K. Rungta from India. While inaugurating the workshop, Mr. Rungta expressed the concern about non utilization of our blind women leader’s skills in the organizational work. He informed that a study undertaken by Asian Blind Union has revealed that the participation of blind women in organizational work and their coverage in the services and programmes for the blind both in Government and NGO sector is very minimal. Keeping in view, this factor, the Union has undertaken a project titled as “women and IT” by which a greater role for blind women leaders would be facilitated both in terms of enhancement of their roles in organizational work and their coverage.

Addressing the inaugural function of the workshop, Ms. Sachu Ramalingam, project manager informed that opportunities will be provided to blind women leaders to first plan and formulate small projects for empowerment of blind women in their respective e countries and there after implement the same with the financial support from the Asian Blind Union. She maintained that this approach would build and enhance self confidence among blind women leaders. This will also help in change the attitudes of the leadership of blindness organizations towards the attainment of gender equity and equality.

Mr. QariSaad Noor, Treasurer Asian blind Union, Mr. Alex Jayawardane, President Sri Lanka Federation of the Visually Handicapped, Ms. Shalika Karunaratne, Executive Committee member, Sri Lanka Council for the Blind and Ms. Manique Gunaratne, Executive Committee member of the Asian Blind Union and local coordinator of the workshop also emphasized the need for such initiatives and expressed their commitment to work together in this laudable endeavour.

About twenty women participants from five countries viz. India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal participated in this workshop. On this occasion, a manual titled as, “Manual on organizational leadership and project management” which has been prepared through voluntary contributions of Mr. S. K. Rungta, President ABU, Mr. Amer Makaram, Secretary General ABU, Mr. K. Ramkrishna, General Secretary National Association for the Blind, India, Ms. Sachu Ramalingam, Project Manager, ABU. This manual is one of first of its kind to be used as reference material in organizational work and project management particularly by those who aspire to undertake responsible positions in the organizations of / for the blind as it provides very basic knowledge and skills in those areas.  The Union has published this manual in all accessible formats including Braille and large print. It will also be translated in Russian and Arabic languages to make it accessible for the benefit of leaders in central Asia in Middle East.  This workshop was the first in its series of three workshops as two remaining workshops will be organized for central Asia and Middle East in September and October respectively. This project has been financially supported by Norwegian Association of the blind and partially sighted. Media was present at the occasion. Several TV channels telecasted this programme in their main news bulletin. Following areas were covered in the programme.

An overview of organizational structure and responsibilities of different functionaries for identifying the reasons of lesser participation of women in different organizational roles

Requirement in terms of empowerment of women leaders to enable them to participate at different levels equally with male leaders.

An overview of the concept of project and project planning SESSION

Project Writing

Identification of project idea and the project planning

Around the idea so identified.

Describing organizational profile in the project including ‘SWOT’ analysis

Writing organizational profile

Describing activity plan in the project

Describing resource plan and budget of a project

Implementation strategies and administration of a project

Writing the activity plan around a project idea.

Resource plan and developing a badger for the project

Meeting Management

Conducting meetings

Documentation and recording decisions, resolutions and descend

Monitoring, its meaning and object

The role and involvement of different functionaries in monitoring of the Project by ABU including National Affiliated Organization, Staff of affiliated organizations, focal points, Project Manager and Table Officers

Monitoring Tools

Strategies of monitoring

Tools for monitoring


Manique Gunaratne

Face Book – Manique Gunaratne



In September 2013 Ms. Manique Gunaratne of The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon Network on Disability and from the Disability Organisations’ Joint Front did a presentation on “How to include women with disabilities to the mainstream of development”, at a seminar organized by the Disability Organizations’ Joint Front and the Ministry of Women Affairs for women with disabilities at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute.


Manique Gunaratne

Skype – manique.g





Ms. Chapa Perera is excited to share with you, these eight videos that were produced byHashtag Generation funded by UN Women on International Women’s Day 2016 featuring an interesting group of men and women speaking about Gender Equality in Sri Lanka and we’d love got you to take a look.


1)      Your neighborhoodtutktuk driver

2)      Young transgender activist    

3)      Ms.ManiqueGunaratne on how women with disabilities experience double

4)     If a woman overtakes you while driving does it hurt your ego?

5)      Malsha Kumaratunga on the sexism that women who run for public office have to

6)     Actress AnojaWeerasinghe’s appeal to all men to join the fight for gender equality

7)      What does Islam say about Gender Equality?

8)     Dr.SelvyThiruchandran on what Gender Equality means to

The videos were featured on the BBC-Sinhala radio here: (listen from 23:00) & on the BBC Sinhala site here: could also be accessed on theHashtag Generation Youtube page.



Executive Committee Member for Advocacy and Lobbying for Rights of Persons with Disabilities – Sri Lanka Foundation for Rehabilitation of the Disabled