US Ambassador in Sri Lanka joins finale of UNDP’s Mobile Interactive Exhibition coming to a close in Batticaloa

Conclusion of the travelling exhibition which reached people from across 7 locations in Sri Lanka

April 24, 2024
US Amb and UNDP RR speaking at the event

H.E. Julie Chung, US Ambassador to Sri Lanka and Ms. Azusa Kubota, Resident Representative, UNDP in Sri Lanka inaugurate the final stop of the travelling exhibition.


24 April 2024, Batticaloa, Sri Lanka: The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Sri Lanka’s mobile interactive gender exhibition, ‘A Journey of Transformation and Women’s Empowerment’, reached its final stop in Batticaloa, and was declared open by H.E. Julie Chung, United States Ambassador to Sri Lanka together with Ms. Azusa Kubota, Resident Representative, UNDP in Sri Lanka, along with the participation of other local government officials, development partners and CSO partners. 

The pioneering initiative aimed at celebrating transformation, women's empowerment, and promoting justice for survivors of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) and has travelled across Sri Lanka starting from Kandy and having completed stops in Kurunegala, Colombo, Jaffna, Galle and Nuwara Eliya. The exhibition was held in Batticaloa from 22nd to 24th April at the Deivanayagam Hall, Batticaloa from 9.00 am to 5.00 pm, open to the public with free admission.

Joining the inauguration H.E. Julie Chung, US Ambassador to Sri Lanka noted, "UNDP’s 'Journey of Transformation and Women's Empowerment' exhibition in Batticaloa illustrates that the road to gender equality, while long and fraught with challenges, is rich with potential. Witnessing the compelling stories of resilience and empowerment from women across Sri Lanka reinforces that advancing gender equality uplifts not only women but entire communities. The United States is steadfast in its commitment to support Sri Lanka in dismantling barriers to equality and in amplifying the voices of all women, ensuring they are heard and valued."

Made possible with the generous support of the Government of Canada and the Royal Norwegian Embassy, through a series of interactive exhibits, engaging discussions, and storytelling sessions, the exhibition celebrates the resilience of Sri Lankan communities while highlighting the efforts of UNDP Sri Lanka and its partners in addressing barriers to gender equality and SGBV over the years. It showcases the stories of women and communities whose lives have been transformed and supported by various UNDP interventions over the years, implemented together with the support of a wide range of partners and grassroots-level organisations.

Commenting on the successful completion of the series of exhibitions, Ms. Azusa Kubota, Resident Representative, UNDP in Sri Lanka highlighted, “It truly has been inspiring to bring Sri Lankan women’s stories of transformative change, courage and resilience across these 7 locations in Sri Lanka. The social dialogues that accompanied the exhibition generated insightful and rich conversations on challenges and opportunities around women champions, livelihood empowerment, climate and SGBV issues and other deprivations that were intensified by recent socio-economic crises. Working together with partners, UNDP reaffirms its commitment, as a Gold Gender Seal certified country office in Sri Lanka, to eliminating gender inequalities through targeted programmes. We will ensure to respond to the insights we gained through this journey in all of our interventions. We are profoundly grateful to all partners who have made this journey a possibility.”

The exhibition aligns with UNDP Sri Lanka's broader project, ‘Ensuring Justice for Victim-Survivors of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in Sri Lanka,’ jointly implemented with UNFPA Sri Lanka, and funded by the Government of Canada, along with UNDP’s flagship portfolio on ‘SDG16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions’, also supported by the Royal Norwegian Embassy. 

Through the interactive exhibits and engaging discussions, UNDP aimed to foster dialogue and idea generation on gender transformation and women empowerment, whilst highlighting protracted issues such as SGBV that are reflections of deep-rooted discrimination and disparities.

The exhibition invited members of the public to participate in discussions, share their stories, and contribute ideas for gender transformation and women's empowerment. Through these interactive sessions, UNDP in Sri Lanka hopes to inspire change and promote a society free of SGBV.