Samitha new co-chair for MenEngage

Samitha Sugathimala is director at Foundation for Innovative Social Development (FISD), one of FORUTs partners in Sri Lanka. Gender equality and human rights for all are core issues for FISD, and they have been engaged in MenEngage Global Alliance for many years.

Samitha has earned recognition for her work, and she was in January 2023 elected Co-Chair for MenEngage. In this way Samitha will be an even stronger voice advocating equality for all, both globally and in Sri Lanka, and also in the FORUT network.


-I am truly honored by the trust MenEngage Alliance has given me, electing me Co-Chair and allowing me to serve in this position and to contribute to achieving our shared objectives for gender justice, and to co-creat accountable leadership in challenging the patriarchal political agenda, says Samitha.   

Gender equality and challenging the existing power structures are topics important to FORUT, as they directly impact peoples lives and can affect mental health and alcohol use positively.

Greetings from Norway

-I congratulate Samitha on her new position as Co-Chair in MenEngage, and we in FORUT are very proud of her and the work of FISD. Over a long periode of time she has been an important change agent for children and women rights through FISD in Sri Lanka, says Ida Oleanna Hagen, Secretary General in FORUT.

-Samitha has received recognition for her work both nationally and internationally. The most important for us in FORUT is the way she has shared her knowledge with the FORUT network, among other things through developing the manual called Happy Families. Happy Families is now a methodology that has spread to other countries and partners, such as MAGGA in Malawi. Samitha is truly an inspiring role model for us all, says Ida Oleanna Hagen from her office in Gjovik, Norway.

A Global network

MenEngage Alliance is a space for members to come together in solidarity with those most held back by gender injustices and patriarchal systems, to collectively dismantle structural barriers to women’s rights and gender equality. As a global network, the Alliance brings together people and organizations with a shared vision of a world in which gender justice and human rights are recognized, promoted and protected, and where all people are equal and free from discrimination and oppression.

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