|Saturday, 8 March 2003|
Let us ensure equal opportunities for women - Minister of Women's Affairs
On this International Women's Day when we celebrate women it is appropriate to examine the economic and social progress made by Sri Lankan women. The year 2003 has been declared as the year of employment by the Government. The concurrent theme selected for the Women's Day, let us ensure equal opportunities for women in all fields and all levels of employment, reflect the tasks that need to be fulfilled for the advancement of women, said Amara Piyaseeli Ratnayake, Minister of Women's Affairs in a message for International Women's Day today, March 8.
Statistics reveal that 33.6% of the labour force is female and 66.4% is male. There is also a low presence of women in the decision-making process. As a consequence the opportunities for expression of women's views in the economic, social and political processes have been scarce. On the other hand greater opportunities have been afforded to women to participate in all decision-making processes in the developed countries.
It was the protest against the denial of the rights of working women in New York, during the year 1857, which paved the way for the declaration of March 8 as the International Women's Day. The Ministry of Women's Affairs is committed to the long-term cause of ensuring the welfare and development of the women in employment as well as among other categories of women.
Women who are engaged in various vocations and perform a multitude of invaluable responsibilities for the economic survival of their families deserve the praise of all of us.
I am pleased to convey my sincere good wishes to all women of Sri Lanka.
Produced by Lake House