COLOMBO, March 8: In honor of International Women’s Day, nine female Chiefs of Mission representing foreign missions to Sri Lanka came together today with high-level Sri Lankan female government officials for an afternoon aimed at “Breaking the Bias.”
Hosted by Ambassador Dewi Gustina Tobing of Indonesia, the Ambassadors, High Commissioners, and other government officials met as a group for the first time with an aim to meet potential new partners and explore innovative programs that can advance the role of women in Sri Lanka. Participants from the diplomatic and multilateral community included Ambassador Julie Chung of the United States, Ambassador Trine Joranli Eskedal of Norway, Ambassador Tanja Gonggrijp of the Netherlands, High Commissioner Sarah Hulton of the United Kingdom, Ambassador Rita Manella of Italy, Ambassador Demet Sekercioglu of Turkey, Ambassador Ho Thi Thanh Truc of Vietnam, and ILO Country Director Simrin Singh.
As the field of diplomacy was historically reserved for men, each of the nine Chiefs of Mission in Sri Lanka has faced and overcome adversity in pursuing her career, and each is now eager to work together to help break the bias and empower the next generation of women diplomats and women leaders. The group of female Chiefs of Mission hope that this was just the first of an ongoing effort at collaboration in the space of Women’s Empowerment in Sri Lanka. Future programs will include mentoring sessions, volunteer opportunities, and visits to girls’ schools.