Sri Lanka wants more women candidates in parliamentary polls

Colombo, July 7 (IANS) Sri Lanka’s ministry of women’s affairs on Tuesday called on all political parties contesting the August parliamentary elections to nominate at least 30 percent women candidates.

Swarna Sumanasekera, chairman of the National Committee on Women under the ministry, was quoted by the media as saying that the ministry also requested the political parties to allocate one-third of seats for women in the national list.

“We want well educated women who can contribute to the social and national development of the country’s economy to be nominated and elected into the new parliament,” Sumanasekera said.

The Sri Lankan government has proposed to increase the number of seats in parliament to secure more minority and women representation, Xinhua news agency reported.

According to the country’s media, the percentage of women in the last parliament was 5.8 percent which is the lowest rate of representation in parliament for women among South Asian countries.

Sri Lanka currently ranks 140 out of 153 countries in female representation in parliament.

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