Empowering women local council members | Sunday Observer

Empowering women local council members

At the final sessions last Friday (Pic: Ranjith Asanka)
At the final sessions last Friday (Pic: Ranjith Asanka)

The final sessions of “Empowerment of women local government members” was held at the BMICH last Friday.It focused on meeting the women parliamentarians’ caucus and setting up an advisory panel of experts with the participation of 12 local government members (3 each from Colombo, Gampaha, Vavuniya and Ampara). They are- Toshini Niluka Sooriyaarachchi, Ismalebbe Tisreena, Sumithra Jeganathan, Kishani Renuka Jayasinghe, Ushanthi Gangani Perera, Kumuduni Sanghasa, Thushari Priyanga, Prascila Ann Deepika Marcus, Renuka Shyamali Perera, Thushari Muthumali, Ajanthan Thayalini and Kohilakumar Anjala.

“The political system in Sri Lanka is corrupt, something which could change through the influx of women politicians at local government level. This program was educational. Earlier we did not even know about fundamental council procedures. Thanks to SAPRI we are now familiar with these basic requirements of councilors and feel confident. We also learned the importance of time management. We, as housewives, are occupied with household work and now we know how to balance our political and family roles within the available time.

Also we can recognize priorities in our villages, and design projects accordingly,” speaking at the conference, a participant councilor from Colombo district said.

The South Asia Policy and Research Institute with the assistance of the Embassy of the Netherlands, initiated the program - ‘empowering the newly elected women local government members’ in May 2018, to enhance their capacities, leadership skills, and knowledge, so as to create effective political leaders. The year-long comprehensive agenda was linked to theoretical and practical training, targeting capacity building, interactive sessions, participation in breakout groups, attending a number of skills building exercises, awareness raising workshops, round-tables with ambassadors and diplomats, as well as with leading private sector representatives.