Women Parliamentarians’ Caucus (WPC) in Sri Lanka is a unique parliamentary mechanism that unites women parliamentarians from diverse political parties, geographical locations, ethnic and religious groups together under one objective – empowerment of women and elimination of all forms of violence and harassment against women and girls- and functions as the highest decision making body on gender while advocating for legal and policy matters for achieving gender equality in Sri Lanka.
The strategies of the Women Parliamentarians’ Caucus include increasing the participation of women in politics, safeguarding women’s rights and gender equality, preventing all sorts of violations and harassments against women, looking into the welfare of the women workers including the migrant workers, poverty alleviation among underprivileged women & widows and providing them with vocational training and facilities.
Improving education among women, looking into the health related problems of the women, providing legal aids and counseling, enacting legislation for the betterment of the women and contributing to the development of the country in general are also strategies of the Women Caucus.
The Women Parliamentarians’ Caucus conducts its activities through advocacy in Parliament, coordinated activities with the women Provincial Councilors and Members of the Local Government Bodies, awareness programmes, workshops, trainings and conferences and outreach activities at district levels.
The Caucus has been working throughout the past 14 years very successfully without any political differences, it was able to make a significant impact in the country. The Caucus had also created a network of partnership with the women Provincial Councilors and Members of the Local Government Bodies, Government Ministries, Departments and Institutions, United Nations Agencies, Local & International Civil Society Organizations and individual professionals.
All 12 Women Parliamentarians’ are members of the Caucus. The Hon (Dr.) (Mrs.) Sudarshini Fernandopulle, State Minister of Primary Health Care, Epidemics and COVID Disease Control, is the Chairperson of the Caucus while the Hon. (Dr.) (Mrs.) Seetha Arambepola State Minister of Skills Development, Vocational Education, Research and Innovation and Hon. (Mrs.) Rohini Kumari Wijerathne MP, act as Vice Chairpersons.