President Sirisena's pledge to women

by manthri.lk - Web Team posted over 5 years ago in Analysis

 

 

 

 

A list of the President’s pledges to women, as made under the manifesto for "A New Sri Lanka for Women"

(actionable pledges highlighted in bold) 

 

     1.     Create an effective system of law enforcement that addresses the mounting sexual offences – including rape, sexual abuse and harassment – against both women               and children regardless of the perpetrators’ influence, position or political power.

 

a.      Create an effective system of law enforcement that addresses mounting sexual offences against both women and children*

 

2.      Give every woman in Sri Lanka the opportunity and access to secure employment or income generation activities to attain financial stability and independence.

3.      Introduce a debt-redemption scheme so that women who are suffering from indebtedness due to the hardships in providing for themselves and their families under the destructive economic policies of this government are no longer vulnerable. I will cancel 50% of debts for women in agriculture who have faced exceptional hardships in recent years.

 

a.      Introduce a debt-redemption scheme to reduce the ‘vulnerability’ of those women whose debt is due ‘to the hardships [incurred] under the destructive economic policies of this government’*

b.      Cancelling 50% of the debts held by women in agriculture who have faced ‘exceptional hardships in recent years’

 

4.      Fulfil the state’s responsibility in protecting the rights and entitlements of women who face many difficulties both in terms of family life and other ways.

5.      Address the issue of unemployment among educated young women as a top priority, provide state support for better lodging facilities for women in the apparel sector and guarantee legal recognition and protection to domestic workers’ and women employed in the informal sector.

 

a.      Address the issue of unemployment amongst ‘educated young women’*;

b.      Provide state support for better lodging facilities for women in the apparel sector; and

c.       Guarantee legal recognition and protection for domestic workers and women employed in the ‘informal sector’

 

6.      Accept the protection of children and other dependents of women migrant workers’ as a responsibility of the state, take protective action at state level against abuse, maltreatment and injustices suffered by workers’ abroad and make provisions for a provident fund similar to the local Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF), an unemployment trust fund and a gratuity payment entitlements.

 

a.      Accept the protection of children and other dependents of women migrant workers’ as a responsibility of the state;

b.      Take protective action at state level against abuse, maltreatment and injustices suffered by workers abroad; and

c.       Make provisions for migrant workers to have:-

 

                                                              i.      a provident fund, similar to the local Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF),

                                                            ii.      an unemployment trust fund and

                                                          iii.      gratuity payment entitlements

 

7.      Support women in the apparel sector and other private sector jobs by protecting the EPF/ETF retirement savings from political manipulation and the stock martket mafia to ensure the best possible returns. Considering the grave difficulties faced by women in the estate sector I will work towards providing all women in the sector fair wages, safe housing, land rights and adequate sanitation services. 

 

a.      Support women in the apparel sector and other private sector jobs by protecting the EPF/ETF retirement savings from political manipulation and the stock market mafia to ensure the ‘best possible returns’ and;

b.      Provide all women in the estate sector with:-

                                                              i.      fair wages,

                                                            ii.      safe housing,

                                                          iii.      land rights and

                                                          iv.      adequate sanitation services

 

8.      Offer a special protection scheme for war widows of all communities and their dependents and ensure that they be accorded due place in social and economic activity in society.

 

a.      Offer a special protection scheme for war widows of all communities and their dependents* and;

b.      Ensure war widows be accorded due place in social and economic activity in society*

 

9.      Give every mother an allowance of Rs. 20,000 at childbirth to obtain nutritious meals.

10.  Lower excessive taxes to reduce prices on 10 essential food items, and at the same time put in place special provisions for protection of those producing such goods locally. I will reduce the price of domestic LP Gas Cylinders, petrol and diesel. I will also double the monthly Samurdhi allowance given to persons facing the greatest economic hardships.

 

a.      Lower ‘excessive’ taxes to reduce prices on 10 essential food items;

b.      Put in place special provisions for the protection of those locally producing essential food goods*;

c.       Reduce the price of domestic LP Gas Cylinders, petrol and diesel; and

d.      Double the monthly Samurdhi allowance given to persons facing the ‘greatest economic hardships’

 

11.  Restore the dignity of all women in the public sector by increasing public sector salaries by Rs. 10,000.

12.  Increase the total provision for education from the present 1.7% to 6% and healthcare from 1.8% to 3%, thus ensuring better education and adequate healthcare and medicine provision.

 

a.      Increase the total provision for education from 1.7% to 6%

b.      Increase the total provision for healthcare from 1.8% to 3%

 

13.  Ensure that all villages and schools have access to safe drinking water.

14.  Increase the representation of women in local authorities and provincial councils to 25%.

15.  Introduce systematic planning and policy making to create a future where all women’s needs are accurately assessed and met.

 

·         Notes:

o   Where there is an asterisk (*), it is meant to highlight those pledges that are actionable insofar as it is possible to begin a dialogue on plans of action. They are still too vague to be able to implement as stated in the pledges and suffer from definitional deficiencies. However the objectives are specific enough to afford them with legislative and policy importance and have therefore been placed on this list.

o   Where words have been ‘quoted thus’ the phrase within the pledge is too ambiguous to action and will need defining.

 

 


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