Female MPs want Select Committee on women’s rights

Female Members of Parliament have called for the appointment of a Parliament Select Committee to address issues on women’s rights in the country.

The Women Parliamentarians’ Caucus of the Parliament of Sri Lanka have made a written request in this regard to the Speaker of the House Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena.

They have proposed that the Select Committee look into and report to the Parliament its recommendations to ensure gender equity and equality with special emphasis, and to also look into gender-based discriminations and violations of women’s rights in Sri Lanka.

The written request was submitted by the Women Parliamentarians’ Caucus chaired by State Minister of Primary Health Care, Epidemics and COVID Disease Control Dr. Sudarshini Fernandopulle.

The Women Parliamentarians’ Caucus has suggested that the Committee and its Chair should be appointed by the 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.

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 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, Dr. Sudarshini Fernandopulle, the notice of motion has also been signed by Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi, State Minister Seetha Arambepola, and 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 been proposed primarily to address the unresolved issues of the discriminated on the basis of gender, as well as to ensure that gender equity and equality are promoted and respected, and to also 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 to hear grievances of women on all sorts of gender-based discriminations, including employment, promotional opportunities, harassment in work place, 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. (Colombo Gazette)