Chamari Athapaththu Challenges women’s empowerment barriers

In Sri Lanka, when a girl hits puberty, it is considered a moment of great significance, with a ceremony held in her honour. However, once they become ‘big girls’, in colloquial vernacular, the rules imposed upon them by family and society as a whole, change.

They are warned not to associate with men not from their family, that it is not a girl’s place to play sport, that any wounds or scratches are not seemly, and even that it is not good for girls to ride a bicycle. With all these barriers, and many more, faced by girls around the country, it is no surprise that most simply give up on sport.

Chamari Athapaththu, Captain of the Sri Lanka Women’s Team, wanted to take a stand to challenge these rules for the sake of future generations. Despite hailing from the region of Kurunegala, an area in which these rules are strictly enforced, Chamari’s parents supported her dream and in fact encouraged her to follow it right to the top.

In her words, by not forcing her to follow these rules when she became a ‘big girl’, she became a ‘big girl’ in the cricketing world. By inviting the society to follow her parents’ lead to encourage girls to continue to follow their dreams, Chamari hopes to inspire future generations of ‘big girls’ in the world of sport.

Speaking about the campaign, Rinesh Jayaratne, Brand Lead, Magic Mango said “We have all seen many women’s empowerment movements around the world, but what truly inspired us as Sri Lankans was that it came to life because of a truly local insight. We all know of girls who faced these issues while growing up and believe it is time to change. It was very exciting to work with Chamari Athapaththu not just as fans, but because we believe that she could change the future.”

Film :


Lead Creative & Copywriter: Nalin Yapa

Creative Director: Andrew Ebell

Associate Creative Director: Channa Gorokgahagoda

Creative Group Head: Nilantha Wijeyakumar

Art Director: Tahiri Perera

Brand Lead: Rinesh Jayaratne


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