UN Women Sri Lanka

Photo: UN Women/Charmalee Jayasinghe


Amongst 187 countries, Sri Lanka ranks 97 with a Human Development Index (HDI) of 0.691. But it does even better on gender with a rank of 74 for its Gender Inequality Index (GII).

UN Women is a non-resident member of United Nations Country Team (UNCT) in Sri Lanka. In collaboration with the Resident Coordinator’s Office (RCO), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Ministry of Child Development and Women’s Affairs, we support Sri Lanka United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) from 2013 to 2017.

UN Women is the only UN agency to actively follow up on the implementation of the commitments made by the Government of Sri Lanka in the Beijing Platform for Action (BPfA). The Government of Sri Lanka has contributed to the South Asia Regional Ministerial Conferences on a biennial basis. These meetings bring together governments, representatives of the women’s movement and key regional institutions.

Promoting Women’s Political Participation in Sri Lanka

Despite significant efforts towards gender equality, women are underrepresented in political and public decision-making in Sri Lanka, placing Sri Lanka the lowest among South Asian countries on women’s representation in political life. The percentage of women in Parliament since the 1930s has never exceeded 6 per cent. Less than 5.8 per cent of women were elected to Parliament in the recent General Elections in 2015. Women’s were even less represented at the municipality and local government level, comprising only 2 per cent of elected officials between 2008-2012.

By the support of Government of Norway, UN Women implemented the two-year project “Promoting Women’s Political Participation in Sri Lanka” to enhance political will towards creating an enabling environment for women’s representation and participation in politics at national and provincial levels.

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