The female Members of Parliament have made a request in writing to the Hon. Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena to appoint a Select Committee to look into and report to the Parliament its recommendations to ensure gender equity and equality with special emphasis on looking into gender-based discriminations and violations of women’s rights in Sri Lanka.
The request has been made by the Women Parliamentarians’ Caucus chaired by Hon. (Dr.) (Mrs.) Sudarshini Fernandopulle, State Minister of Primary Health Care, Epidemics and COVID Disease Control.
It has been suggested that the Committee and its Chair should be appointed by the Hon. Speaker and that the composition of the proposed Committee should consist of not more than 25 Members.
The report of the Committee is required to be presented to Parliament within a period of one year from the first meeting of the committee and once tabled in Parliament it is expected to be referred to the Minister in charge of the relevant subject to submit their observations and steps taken governing the particulars within a period of eight weeks post being tabled.
The Secretary General of Parliament Mr. Dhammika Dasanayake said that this notice of motion has been included in to the addendum to the Order Book No. 03 of Parliament.
Apart from the Women Parliamentarians’ Caucus chair, Hon. (Dr.) (Mrs.) Sudarshini Fernandopulle, the notice of motion has also been signed by Hon. Minister Pavithra Devi Wanniarachchi, Hon. State Minister (Dr.) Seetha Arambepola, Hon. Members of Parliament Harini Amarasuriya, Rohini Kumari Wijerathna, Thalatha Atukorale, Geetha Kumarasinghe, Kokila Gunawardena, Muditha Prashanthi, Rajika Wickramasinghe, Manjula Dissanayake and Diana Gamage.
The establishment of this Committee has proposed primarily to address the unresolved issues of the discriminated on the basis of gender as well as to ensuring that gender equity and equality are promoted and respected and to ensure that all women and girls are empowered in Sri Lanka.
10 outcomes of the proposed committee have been set out by the female Members of Parliament including hearing gradiences of women on all sorts of gender-based discriminations including employment, promotional opportunities and harassment in work place and reviewing and advocating for the allocation of adequate domestic resources in all sectors and at all levels, and access to improve gender equity and equality in Sri Lanka.