Strengthening Governance and Increasing Women’s Representation in Local Government (Kurunegala, Monaragala, Badulla)

January – April 2008

WMC launched this project in 2007 and it was continued in 2008 with the same objectives of increasing women’s knowledge of local government, building their capacity to contest local government elections, helping them enable good governance, etc. The observation teams continued the monitoring of selected Local Councils in Kurunegala, Monaragala and Badulla. In total 14 Local Councils were observed in 3 districts by 25 women observers.

The completed activities for the period were the following.

1)   Monitoring (Observing)

The observation teams continued the monitoring process, the key objectives being identifying the key themes of the discussions, addressing of problems and related shortcomings. One of the key outcomes of this was the gathering and consolidating of information required for training on gender-sensitive budgeting for the Local Councils.

2)   Advocacy and Awareness Raising at District Level

One-day workshops were held in some of the selected Local Councils with the objective of raising awareness among community based organizations.

The workshops were as follows.

– Badulla Urban Council and Badulla Pradeshiya Sabha
            -16th February 2008

– Bandarawela Urban Council and Bandarawela Pradeshiya Sabha -18th January 2008

– Monaragala Pradeshiya Sabha            – 27th April 2008

– Badalkumbura Pradeshiya Sabha        – 20th February 2008

– Buttala Pradeshiya Sabha       – 28th April 2008

Significant changes achieved through these well-attended workshops included the submitting of proposals of women and their requirements to local government bodies before the next budget, supporting women candidates regardless of their political affiliations, raising awareness among political party leaders, etc.

3)   Field Visits and Knowledge Sharing

Getting to know the communities and their issues through field visits enabled better understanding of how to address the issues at the grass root levels. The field visits were a source of sharing experiences amongst the districts and have enhanced WMC’s networking capacity and experience in the field.