reener pastures are generally alluded to as being abroad. But they will soon be here too. One important pledge concerning women is the promise of a National Council for Women in the manifesto of the United National Front for Good Governance.
This has long been overdue and will be in the form of a governing body for all issues relating to women. Women are in for a better deal in life. At long last we have acknowledgement of the major contributions made by women to our economic growth by working hard in fields, farms, factories, estates, markets and under the most trying conditions abroad.
Perhaps the most difficult role is that of mothers, raising their children, instilling the correct values and principles in them and bringing them up with an innate sense of responsibility to both community and country.
Women are more often than not, totally dedicated and committed to whatever they do. They have shown that they have greater strength in the most trying circumstances and do not rely on violence to get them through life. Would a man ever be able to face the trauma and pain of childbirth? One of the main objectives and aspirations of the United National Front is to ensure that women are equal stakeholders in economic, political and social spheres and are able to reap all benefits that should rightly be theirs and enjoy freedom and equal rights.
Women take care to manage whatever limited resources they have and are efficient managers of household budgets, childcare, children’s education, caring for elderly parents as well as performing their religious duties.
"Women are more often than not, totally dedicated and committed to whatever they do. They have shown that they have greater strength in the most trying circumstances and do not rely on violence to get them through life. Would a man ever be able to face the trauma and pain of childbirth? "
The burdens during the past ten years of rising prices have led to economic hardship and often getting into debt to raise their families, feed and educate them. There has been in recent years a decline and deterioration of healthcare and education which have not been the priorities they should have been. Sexual harassment ,abuse, both domestic and at workplaces and the street, rape and gang rape have reached an unprecedented level with nothing done to apprehend and punish the perpetrators of these most horrific crimes with the severe punishment that should have been introduced. There have been different rules for different people depending on whether they were influential or not. Law and order have sunk to the lowest of depths. In these circumstances Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has pledged to create a system of law enforcement which addressed the issues relating to women stated above; to give every woman access to employment and income generating avenues for financial stability; fulfil the State’s responsibilities among women in protecting the rights of women; address the issue of unemployment among educated young women as a top priority, provide state support for lodging facilities for women in the apparel sector; accept the protection of children of women migrant workers as a State responsibility; take protective action at state level against abuse, maltreatment and injustice suffered by women working abroad; make provisions for a provident fund similar to the local employees provident fund [EPF], an unemployment trust fund and gratuity payment benefits.
"Women manage the limited resources they have and are efficient managers of household budgets while looking after their children and elderly parents "
They will 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 return; women in the estate sector will also be provided with fair wages, safe housing, land rights and adequate sanitation services.
All these are a welcome change in attitude and certainly point to a future that women can look forward to with confidence that these promises will be kept. It is interesting to note in delving into women’s issues that the first government to create a Ministry of Women’s Affairs thus recognising the value of women was a UNP government headed by the late President Jayewardene. Women and children invariably go together.
To a child a mother is an omnipotent being, a shelter from all the storms of life and who is always there as a source of strength and comfort. On a recent visit to the US, the Minister of State for Children’s Affairs Rosy Senanayake was able to get a grant of 50 million US dollars for the development of pre-schools. This will be great boon for mothers and children too.
Comments - 0
Comments will be edited (grammar, spelling and slang) and authorized at the discretion of Daily Mirror online. The website also has the right not to publish selected comments.