(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) – Networking is important for the political rights of women, who make up 52% of Sri Lanka’s population and 56% of the voters said Dr. SudarshiniFernandopulle, Chairperson of Women Parliamentarians Caucus in Parliament and State Minister of Primary Health Care, Epidemics and Covid Disease Control. The Minister was speaking at the launch of the Report on the Representation of Women in Political Parties by One Text Initiative and Political Parties for Democracy in Finland at Monarch Imperial to map policies and practices for women’s political participation.
The research, conducted with the participation of six major political parties in Sri Lanka in the context of the Government of Sri Lanka’s commitment to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, provides a very clear picture of the political involvement of women in Sri Lanka.
Speaking further the Minister said that the voices of 12 Members of women in Parliament out of 225 are not heard. In order to raise a voice that can surpass 213, its important to network with the 23% of local government women councillors.
The Minister pointed out that although the 12 Members of Parliament are from different parties, they stand together on women’s issues and work together as a forum for women MPs in the event of injustice to a Member of Parliament. She said that the political participation of women was essential at the moment and that she was committed to defeating any attempt to reduce the 25% quota for women representation in local government bodies. The Minister said that many steps are being taken to ensure gender equality and also a special Parliamentary Select Committee has been appointed for this purpose.
General Secretary of Samagi Jana Balawega Ranjith Maddumabandara, UNP General Secretary Palitha Range Bandara, General Secretary of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party Dayasiri Jayasekara, MA Sumanthiran on behalf of the Tamil National Alliance, Members of Parliament PremanathDolawatta, Jagath Pushpa Kumara, Former Members of Parliament Ferial Ashroff, Karunaratne Paranavithana and Ameer Faiz, President of One Text, Kanaka Abeygunawardena, Project Director of One Text, Dr. Prabha Manuratne of the University of Kelaniya, Harinadra B. Dasanayake and Manisha Dullewa were also present at this occasion.