President Introduces Historic Women’s Empowerment Bill – State Minister of Women and Children’s Affairs Geetha Kumarasinghe

State Minister of Women and Children’s Affairs, Mrs. Geetha Kumarasinghe, stated that in Sri Lanka’s political history, no bill addressing women’s rights or equal status has ever been introduced.

The State Minister also highlighted that the Women’s Empowerment Bill, introduced to Parliament as a concept by President Ranil Wickremesinghe, has now been passed.

State Minister of Women and Children’s Affairs, Mrs. Geetha Kumarasinghe, made this statement during a news conference at the Presidential Media Centre (PMC) today (25), under the theme ‘Collective path to a stable country’.

The State Minister further commented:

The Women’s Empowerment Bill has now been passed by Parliament. It is noteworthy that, in the political history of Sri Lanka, no previous bill has addressed women’s rights or equal status for women. To facilitate the empowerment of women through this Act, a national policy is being prepared for the betterment of women.

This bill was introduced based on the vision of President Ranil Wickremesinghe. Numerous amendments were made during the drafting process, with suggestions and comments from the Parliamentary Women’s Forum. As a result, many important provisions were incorporated into the Act.

Additionally, the Act includes provisions for establishing a National Commission on Women and a mechanism to protect women’s rights, including avenues for legal recourse against rights violations. Thus, this legislation aims to empower women.

Under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, mechanisms are being introduced to ensure the government fulfils its obligations towards women. It is important to highlight that this also offers safeguards against discrimination based on gender and sexual orientation, aiming to prevent associated harassment.