On 28th May 2018 the International Movement Against All Forms of Discrimination and Racism (Asia Committee) – IMADR-AC held their final gathering to mark the successfully implemented Federal Foreign Office funded project “Right to Women’s Political Representation in Sri Lanka”.
Led by Dr. Nimalka Fernando, chairperson of IMADR-AC and commissioner of the OMP, women from around the country took part in capacity and skills development workshops as well as awareness-raising and mentoring programs. By undergoing these programs and making use of the offered resources, the organization promoted relevant topics, such as democracy, good governance, gender equality, and reconciliation. This did not only equip them with skills in areas such as leadership, but also provided them with a supportive network that gave them further strength in campaigning in the local government elections that took place in February this year.
The event was attended by Mr. Sudarshana Gunwaradhena, Director General of the Government Information Department, who expressed his strong support for the project, as well as numerous women, who underwent the program, many of which succeeded in entering local government bodies in the last local government elections. The Chargé d’Affaires a.i. of Germany in Sri Lanka, Mr. Andreas Berg in his speech to the audience expressed the importance of projects like these: “What is in writing does not always match the reality on the ground. This is where civil society organizations like IMADR come into play. Through projects like the one you all participated in, necessary social change in line with the constitution can be brought about, which in the end will benefit the country as a whole. This change I am talking about can best be achieved through women’s participation in politics, because it gives women the public platform to make their voices heard. You all know best which challenges you face in your day to day lives and which needs you have. Now you are in the position to find and implement solutions that best fit your interests. My humble advice is, make use of this opportunity you’ve got and work towards making the change you want to see in this country.”
We wish the new female local representatives all the best on their journey.