Lack of affordable, reliable childcare options hinders female labor force participation, Verité Research tells PSC


The lack of proper childcare (daycare) regulations in Sri Lanka, which is also in most instances unaffordable and viewed with mistrust, is a great hindrance to the female labour force participation of the country, Verité Research says.

This was disclosed at the Select Committee of Parliament to look into and report to Parliament its recommendations to ensure gender equity and equality with special emphasis on gender-based discrimination and violation of women’s rights in Sri Lanka. The panel was chaired by Dr. Sudarshini Fernandopulle.

Verité Research, presenting facts before the committee, further stated that as a result of the ongoing economic crisis, more women are compelled to take up paid labour. However, it was disclosed that limited opportunities for re-entry and lack of gender-sensitive corporate policies, rigid gender norms and lack of spousal support in addition to childcare support also constrain women from their ability to participate in the labour force.

Addressing the Committee, Dr. Fernandopulle stated that provisions to regulate childcare services are imperative, ensuring that the committee would look into it.

The Select Committee of Parliament also discussed the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Bill which was proposed to the Committee by the Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD) and Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA).

Given that the proposals presented were broad, the committee was of the view that the contents of the proposed Bill be forwarded to the Ministry of Justice, Prison Affairs and Constitutional Reforms for consideration.

Furthermore, the committee took into account the progress of the proposed Bills entitled Establishment of a National Commission on Women, the Bill on Gender Equality and the Bill on Empowerment of Women. Accordingly, the officials present stated that the Bills are expected to be presented in Parliament soon.

Furthermore, it was agreed to launch the draft National Policy on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment on the 08th of March to mark International Women’s Day 2023.

source Adaderana


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