The Parliamentary Select Committee which was appointed to ensure gender equality and to look into the discrimination against women in Sri Lanka and present its recommendations to Parliament, met for the first time in Parliament recently.
The meeting was chaired by the State Minister of Primary Health Care, Epidemics and COVID-19 Disease Control Dr. Sudarshini Fernandopulle.
The Committee also focused on the microfinance loans that are currently affecting a large number of women in Sri Lanka. It was also revealed that the Cabinet approval has been granted for the re-enactment of the Regulatory Authority in order to regulate Microfinance loans in Sri Lanka.
The role of the Select Committee was also discussed at length. Accordingly, it was decided that the primary role of the Committee should be to investigate women’s grievances regarding all forms of discrimination based on gender, including workplace violence.
Another role of this committee is to examine and review relevant laws while establishing gender equality. The Committee will also encourage the relevant ministries and authorities to formulate plans for the establishment of gender equality and to allocate financial resources.
In addition, the Committee has a role to play in motivating for greater women’s representation in decision-making bodies at the national and provincial levels, as well as in government, civil society and the private sector.
MPs Rohini Kavirathane, (Dr.) Harini Amarasuriya, M. Udayakumar, S. Sritharan, Rohana Bandara and the Secretary to the committee, Deputy Secretary General and Chief of Staff of the Parliament Kushani Rohanadheera were also present at the meeting.