Speaker proposes setting up of Public Petition Committee for Women | Daily News

Speaker proposes setting up of Public Petition Committee for Women

Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa yesterday proposed to set up a Public Petition Committee for women to look into various forms of injustices meted out to them in the country.

The Speaker directed the Parliament Secretary General to study this proposal and inform the possibility of having such a committee in Parliament at the party leaders’ meeting.

The Speaker was speaking at the inauguration of a one day conference for women representatives of Parliament, Provincial Councils and Local Government institutions held at the Parliamentary complex yesterday. The conference was organized by the Sri Lanka Women Parliamentarians ‘Caucus’. Chairperson of the Caucus and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Sumedha G Jayasena presented the Action Plan to the invitees, including the Speaker.

Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa said that women hesitate to file cases against injustices meted out to them at homes and work places. He said that the Government and the Opposition should join together to increase women representation in Parliament to at least 35 per cent.

“The question is whether it was possible under the present electoral system,” the Speaker said.

He said that many women were representing local government bodies, provincial councils and parliament after fighting shoulder to shoulder with their male counterparts at elections. The 13 parliamentarians representing the women population in the country had a formidable voice, he said. Meanwhile, Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said women representation in Parliament should be increased to at least 25 per cent. Many countries in the world enjoy over 50 per cent women representation in Parliament.

Wickremesinghe said that the United National Party has made a number of proposals to the action plan of the Caucus.

He said that he proposed to establish a Women’ Chamber at national level to propose rules and regulations to empower women economically. Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne, Child Development and Women’s Affairs Minister Tissa Karaliyadde, Chief Government Whip and Water Supply and Drainage Minister Dinesh Gunawardena also spoke.

All women parliamentarians in Parliament, including Rosy Senanayake, Sudarshani Fernandopulle, Thalatha Athukorale, Kamala Ranatunga and Malini Fonseka were present.