In Sri Lanka, women often don’t ride overnight or long-distance buses alone because of the threat of sexual assault. To help address this fear, one local man came up with the option to book a “lady seat” for long-distance travel – at no extra cost.
A recent silent protest in front of the president’s office in Colombo was part of an effort to use the new Right to Information law to get the facts on missing persons, voter identification, land rights and other issues. A youth network called AFRIEL facilitated the demonstration and has assisted people in developing more than 1,000 applications under the law.
Microloans have been praised worldwide for their ability to help women start businesses and rise out of poverty. But in Sri Lanka, microloans with exploitative interest rates are having the opposite effect.