It is necessary for more women to participate at the decision making level in Sri Lanka, Asia Women`s Right`s Coordinator of Action Aid International Sriyani Perera said.
She was speaking at a workshop attended by nine Asian countries that had teamed up to develop a strategy focusing on women`s rights and improving their life standards. The two-day workshop was held in Colombo last week attended by Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Thailand, Vietnam, South Africa and Sri Lanka.
`We appeal to the political leadership in our country to enhance the opportunity given to women to enter the political mainstream stream`. Women are capable of efficient management and decision making, she said.
According to the current statistics, women representation in Parliament is less than five percent. `This situation needed to be improved`, she emphasized, saying that Women should be encouraged to come forward and take active role in politics`.
The workshop focused it attention on current status of the women in Asia, their issues and steps to overcome them.
Women in Asia have common problems other than the issue of poverty. They are the worst affected by poverty, said the Secretary to the Ministry of Child Development and Women`s Empowerment Indrani Sugathadasa.
There should be a united effort to tackle our problems. Regardless of having an Act on prevention of domestic violence against women implemented in last year, there is an increase in violence against women especially domestic violence, she said.
`Efforts should be taken to empower women economically and socially. This would go a long way`, Sugathadasa said. It is important to recognise their contribution as they accounts for over 50 percent of our population, she added.
ActionAid International Sri Lanka works in partnerships with community based organisations, people`s movements, co-operatives, trade unions and the likes in meeting basic humanitarian needs in eight districts.