Campaign Manager, Global Campaign for Equality in Family Law
As the Campaign Manager of the Global Campaign for Equality in Family Law (GCEFL), Hyshyama manages all aspects of the Global Campaign, supporting the building of a broader coalition of engaged stakeholders comprised of UN agencies, international NGOs, regional bodies, and networks of local civil society groups and policymakers, especially in the target regions and countries to advocate for family law reform. The aim of the GCEFL is to make equality in family law, policy, and practice a global priority.
Born in Sri Lanka, Hyshyama grew up in Nepal and is now based in Colombo, Sri Lanka. She is a researcher and activist with over 15 years of experience working on women’s rights, primarily in the Global South. With a passion for advocacy campaigns and movement-building focusing on family law reform, she previously led Musawah‘s global Campaign for Justice and international advocacy work.
In 2016, she co-authored a landmark study ‘Unequal Citizens – Muslim women’s struggle for equality and justice in Sri Lanka’ which led to the formation of an advocacy group called Muslim Personal Law Reforms Action Group (MPLRAG), at the forefront of pushing for reform of the discriminatory Muslim family law and Quazi court system in the country. As a Fulbright scholar and Sié Fellow, she obtained her MA in International Human Rights at Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver.
Hyshyama is inspired by grassroots and local women’s rights activists, who despite challenging socio-political contexts, continue to fight for systems change and push their communities and countries towards justice. One of her feminist icons Zainah Anwar said, “If there is no equality in the family, there can be no equality in society.” It’s a statement that drives her interest and passion for family law reform.
Outside of work, she enjoys gardening, punch-needle embroidery, and chasing after her two dachshunds.
Hyshyama speaks English, Sinhala, Nepali, and Hindi/Urdu.