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Programmatic Focus Areas

Dabindu Newsletter

The newsletter titled Dabindu (Drops of Sweat) has been produced to highlight the situation and condition of women workers as well as raise issues of concern to women workers. This paper creates a space for FTZ workers to share their issues, and is equally committed to highlighting their rights as workers and as women. In addition, the newspaper space engages community in debates and discussions on issues related to policies and legal reforms in order to promote and protect of the rights of workers. In the mid-1980s DC began establishing itself in the FTZ via its newsletter Dabindu, which publicized infringements of workers’ rights, exploitative industrial practices and strike actions by workers. Dabindu engaged in solidarity work and established contacts with a wide range of women’s organizations outside the FTZ via coalitions such as the Women’s Action Committee and Women for Peace, so that information from the FTZ reached a wider public. By 1987/88 DC was printing and distributing 10,000 copies of Dabindu to workers in the FTZ. Women workers contributed regularly to Dabindu in this period with news, articles, poems and graphics.

Solidarity Works

Dabindu currently engages with a wider range of local civil society groups, networks, and coalitions including 52% Force, People’s Health Forum, FTZ Solidarity, Negombo citizen group, CEDAW action movement. These engagements helped to establish cross-sectoral solidarity work among women workers, peasants, fisher communities, and ethnic minorities on a range of issues spanning women’s rights, human rights, and peace. Maintains partnerships with the international community including CCC, AFW, FAU and Business and Human Right Resource center to fight for worker rights and get the international support for them.

Commemoration of special days

International Women’s Day and International Day of Action Against violence against women discussions on measures to prevent / deal with issues of all forms of violence against women. International worker’s day, Workers’ Memorial day, International Human Rights Day.

Awareness Programs

Organizing workshops and discussions on Labour rights, Gender based violence, Occupational health and safety, Sexual and reproductive health rights, Brands bargaining, Unionization, Human rights, GSP+ and Measures to address issues of violence against Women.

Training Programs

Conducting training on Leadership, Mobile journalism, Self-defense and Training of Trainers workshops. Initiated self- employment training for workers who wish to go back to their villages, including dressmaking and net making classes, cake decoration classes, and computer classes.

Multi-stakeholder initiatives

In 2017 Dabindu established multi-stakeholder initiative in Katunayake to address women worker issues for the first time with several stakeholders including the Board of Investment, Ministry of Health and Labour Department. Later on, Dabindu was able to initiate new multi-stakeholder dialogues in Killinochchi and Vavuniya districts.

Exposure programs

To enable women workers in FTZs to deal with pressure and stress arising out of separation from family member left behind as well as to raise awareness and to strengthen solidarity with workers in other sector such as the plantation, Fisheries, agriculture etc. exchange programme are organized annually.

Library facilities and youth Camps

To encourage women workers, develop the habit of reading and to build confidence as well as interaction among women workers pave the way to assist them organize for their Right.

Legal assistance

Legal assistance in unjust dismissals, food poisoning cases etc. are provided free of charge. Support for workers’ strikes Advice on problems at workplace, termination of employment, suspensive from employment, closure of factories and resulting unemployment, non – payment of dues to workers are given by experienced resource persons.
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