Consultation on Gender and Electoral Systems

The move to reform electoral systems in the country has generated a broad discussion, particularly around the participation of women in the political process. The proposed Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) electoral systems is expected to use the First Past the Post (FPTP) and Proportional Representation (PR) voting systems enabling voters with greater privilege over the candidate and political party they wish to elect.

During the electoral systems awareness week, an initiative by the Election Commission, a consultation on Gender and Electoral Systems organised by the Women and Media Collective and the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) was held on the 18th of September 2016 in Colombo. Dr. Andrew Reynolds gave an overview of the gender related provisions to be considered within an MMP system. He provided principles and country examples of MMP systems while also highlighting the present status of gender provisions in electoral systems and challenges for women contesting in elections.

The other speakers at the event were MP M.A. Sumanthiran, MP Shathi Sriskandharajah, Nizam Karriyappar, Upulangani Malagamuwa, Lewie Ganeshathasan, Vasu Mohan and Kumudini Samuel.