Sunila Abeysekera was born in 1952 in Sri Lanka and has worked on women's rights and human rights issues in Sri Lanka and in the South Asia region for over 20 years as an activist and scholar. In 1994 she received an M.A. in Women and Development from the Institute of Social Studies in the Hague, Netherlands, and won that year's award for the best research paper.
Since 1992 Abeysekera has been working with the Global Campaign for Women's Human Rights and has been actively working in lobbying at all the UN Conferences since then -- 1993 in Vienna and 1995 in Beijing -- focusing on the issue of mainstreaming women's human rights concerns within the international human rights system.
In Sri Lanka, Abeysekera works with the Women and Media Collective, which does national level organazing on women's issues, with a special focus on the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action. The political participation of women and violence against women are two key areas of her concentration. She also works with cultural workers and cultural groups to develop and create new ways of expressing themselves through the media and the arts, including work on critical cultural theory. test
"Women's Human Rights: Questions of Equality and Difference," (MA Thesis) (The Hague: Institute of Social Studies, 1994).
"Representations of Women in the Sinhala Cinema." Cinemaya: Indian Film Journal (1996).
"Organising for Peace in the Midst of War: Experiences of Women in Sri Lanka," in From Basic Needs to Basic Rights. Ed. M. Schuler. (Washington DC: Women, Law and Development International, 1995).
"The Abortion Debate in Sri Lanka," in Reproductive Health Matters. (London: 1995).
"Consolidating Our Gains at the World Conference on Women's Human Rights: A Personal Reflection." Canadian Women's Studies Journal 15 (Spring-Summ 1995).