Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe, who has failed to get the country out of economic trouble, has now brought gender equality and women empowerment on his agenda. He has said that to achieve both these objectives, two bills will be brought in the Parliament of the country.
Till now violence against women is not considered a serious crime in Sri Lanka. Apart from this, it is a common complaint that the attitude of government agencies is negligent when complaints of such cases of violence come. According to social activists, some steps have been taken for women empowerment in the past. But they have not improved the condition of women in the family. According to these activists, many women who are victims of violence do not seek legal help. One of the major reasons for this is that they do not have any hope of getting justice. Therefore, the latest initiative of the President is in the right direction.
But according to some analysts, Wickremesinghe has chosen the wrong time to take this initiative. The worst affected by the economic crisis are women and children. Due to distressed families, the trend of child marriage of girls has increased in the last one year. There have also been complaints of women being forced into prostitution from many places. That's why analysts say that the priority of the government should be to solve the economic crisis, so that women can first get rid of the newly arising problems.
Announcing the introduction of two bills for gender equality and women's empowerment in Parliament, Wickremesinghe urged women MPs to give their suggestions to make the proposed laws more effective. The President said that the representation of women should be increased not only in Parliament, but in every walk of life. Both private sector and public sector should come forward to achieve this objective.
According to observers, Sri Lanka has the credit of having the first woman prime minister in the world. Sirimavo Bandaranaike became prime minister in 1960. Despite this, the political representation of women in the country has remained low. Due to the culture of male dominance, the entry of women into politics has happened only occasionally. Among them too, on most occasions, women have come into politics for hereditary reasons. Currently there are only 12 women MPs in the 225-member parliament.
Wickremesinghe was the Prime Minister from 2015 to 2019. During that time a law was made, under which 25 percent seats in local elections were reserved for women. According to sociologists, although most of the women in Sri Lanka are working, but they are not able to advance in the job. Most of the workers in garment factories and many other businesses are women, but their presence in higher positions is very low. President Wickremesinghe also referred to this discrepancy in his speech in Parliament. He said- 'Not only the private sector, but the government sector has also committed some mistakes. Now we will improve it by enacting a law.