Sumika Perera

Sumika is a social activist, with a focus on gender, women’s rights, and democracy in Sri Lanka. Coming from a poor, large family, Sumika witnessed first-hand the rich-poor gap among her classmates and began to write poems about it, publishing them in newspapers and magazines.

It was following this experience that she set up the Women’s Resource Centre in 2005, which is an organisation that works with female-heads of households in Kurunegala, who are typically from military families or small-scale farming families. These are the people, Sumika says, that are the most objectified by society, as they face violence, live alone, and have little knowledge of their economic, social, and cultural rights. The Women’s Resource Centre supports these households and empowers the women of these families to embrace their rights and face the subjugation that is entrenched in the society in which they live. Additionally, Sumika was the project coordinator of the Coalition for Assisting Tsunami Affected Women.

Sumika has since acted as the chairperson of the Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission’s Wayamba locality, has been awarded with two scholarships from the Australian Government, and has worked with other women’s groups across Sri Lanka, as well as being on an advisory board for the Suriya Women’s Development Society.