The establishment of an Independent Women’s Commission was first proposed by women activists and advocates as far back as 1991. Since then a number of proposals have been made by successive governments to statutorily establish such a Commission.
In 2003, the United National Front government, headed by the UNP, drafted a Women’s Rights Bill. The draft was made open for public debate. The dissolution of Parliament in 2004 prevented the bill being finalized and presented to Parliament.
Women comprise more than half of the 15 million eligible voters in this country. We believe that a Women’s commission is essential for your government to implement the promises made in the 100 days programme for the promotion, protection and fulfillment of women’s rights and for ensuring gender equality for transformative change.
We, as voters, call upon your government to guarantee that the draft Bill is finalized and a Commission is established as an independent, well resourced entity, and that members appointed have relevant expertise.
We therefore call upon you to enact legislation to establish an Independent Women’s Commission as an immediate priority.