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POSTED AT 10:19 AM 14-12-2017

Women are hesitant to vote for women - Faiszer

Faiszer Musthapha, Minister of Provincial Councils and Local Government, Sri Lanka is a man on a mission. To execute 25 per cent representation for women in local government appears a daunting task given the figures for women in government. For women’s representation in parliament is less than 5 per cent and less than 1.5 per cent in local bodies. 

The parliament has already passed a bill for 25 per cent mandatory representation for women in local government and the Sri Lankan minister is finding inspiration from Kerala to implement this.  The minister was on a three-day tour of Kerala, leading a 12-member delegation to study the local government mechanism in the state and learn the role of women in local administration. The biggest takeaway for this delegation are lessons on women empowerment, says Musthapha. “We have a lot to learn from ‘Kudumbashree’ and your panchayat system.

In your system, women have entered the local body administration. This has eradicated corruption and increased efficiency. In Sri Lanka, somehow, women have left matters of the state to the men. Women are hesitant to vote for women! Though we boast of the first woman leader in Sirimavo Bandaranaike, the representation of women in government is painfully low. We have passed the bill and have to move forward from a male-dominated system,” he tells Express. 

“The strength of the family is women. You have brought that strength to local bodies. We have to do that. Like most countries, Sri Lanka has issues regarding corruption and efficiency. So we want to bring women to local bodies and create a transformation.” On Monday, the delegation visited the Kerala Institute of Local Administration (KILA) in Thrissur in order to understand the role of women in the state’s local governance. 

They visited Kalady grama panchayat and Angamaly municipality to study women’s participation and their empowerment through local governance. During this three-day visit, conferences and debates were held on different topics like the role of KILA in Local Self Government, success of accountability systems - Performance Audit-Social Audit - in the state, the role of women in local governance and the association of Kudumbashree and local government institutes. The team interacted with Kudumbashree members too. 

On Tuesday, the delegation visited Kerala’s Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Finance Minister Thomas Isaac, former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Local Administration Minister K T Jaleel.

Source: The New Indian Express

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