ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Women Parliamentarian’s Caucus met Singapore MP Professor Rizwana Begum recently to discuss violence against women and Singapore’s experience on the issue.
Chairperson of the Caucus Dr Sudarshanee Fernandopulle and Professor Begum, who is the Singaporean representative of the Asian Women Parliamentarians Forum, discussed initiatives, programs and policies aimed at empowering women, and preventing violence against women.
Professor Begum pointed out that changes in laws including stricter punishments, personal protection orders, expedited orders, domestic exclusion orders and counseling orders are needed to eradicate violence against women.
She emphasized that action is needed by both the public sector and the private sector for the prevention of violence against women.
Last month, a Sri Lankan state minister was manhandled within parliament premises after a verbal altercation with two male Samagi Jana Balavegaya (SJB) parliamentarians, who were seen goading her and egging her on, while filming her reaction.
Dr Fernandopulle thanked Prof Begum for sharing Singapore’s insights on empowering women in Sri Lanka, preventing gender-based violence, closing the gender-based wage gap and supporting unpaid female workers.
Singaporean lawyer Wimala Chandrarajan, Dr Ramani Jayasundara, a technical expert who drafted Sri Lanka’s National Policy for Women, and a group of representatives from the National Democratic Institute (NDI) also attended the meeting. (Colombo/Nov8/2023)