Women representation in Parliament should be increased – Dr. Kerner

Dr. Pathum Kerner greeting the gathering.

Gampaha District Independent Group candidate Dr. Pathum Kerner said that representation of women in Parliament should be increased, since it does not have a positive effect on democracy.

He was addressing a public meeting in Kelaniya recently.

“In Sri Lanka, women do not get adequate representation in politics. Fifty two per cent of the population is women. However, women represented only 13 seats in the last Parliament. It was less than five per cent,” he said.

He said that on the other hand, woman MPs of the previous Parliament were all elected from traditional political parties with a political family background. “They were daughters, wives and sisters of a political family. In addition to those who came from political families, several others had come because they were actresses,” he said.

“This is how women leaders are chosen in this country. They cannot be real leaders. If we elect women leaders in this way from traditional family backgrounds, we cannot expect real representation in the legislature. Women's issues cannot be discussed in Parliament in this way,” he said.

He said that the world's first Prime Minister was from Sri Lanka, and the world's first woman Executive President was also from Sri Lanka. “Now is the time to ask ourselves if we increase the number of women in Parliament giving a greater voice for women,” he said.

Provisions have been made by the Local Government Elections Act to increase the number of women in Parliament and youth in local government bodies. Therefore, political parties sould give more opportunities to women and youth to contest local government elections. However, opportunities for women in parliamentary elections are inadequate. While talking about changing the constitution, no one is talking about changing the laws to increase the representation of women in Parliament because they have no real interest in increasing the number of women in Parliament.

“We are fighting hard to increase women's representation because women are more sensitive to theirs and children's issues. Therefore, opportunities should be given for women leaders to rise to the top in grassroots politics,” he said.


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