Britain today urged the Sri Lankan government to sign the UN Declaration of Commitment to End Sexual Violence in Conflict.
“We strongly encourage the Sri Lankan government to sign the UN Declaration of Commitment to End Sexual Violence in Conflict and join our international campaign, which is making encouraging progress worldwide,” British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka John Rankin said.
Issuing a statement to mark International Women’s Day on Saturday, March 8, Mr. Rankin also said, “I know that in Sri Lanka also, women play an increasingly prominent role. We recognise the progress that has been made in this area, especially in the main cities and towns. Women are in positions of responsibility and prominent in many spheres of activity. At the same time Sri Lanka’s long conflict has given rise to some 89,000 war widows – often, the heads of their households – who are more vulnerable to discrimination and violence.”
He also said that the UN theme for International Women’s Day is “Equality for women is progress for all”.
“No truer theme has been chosen. As long as violence and discrimination continue, our efforts to achieve global security and development will be undermined, affecting not just millions of women and girls worldwide, but also men and boys. Promoting and ensuring women’s rights builds a balanced society; a society where women have a voice, a presence, rights and the power to shape their lives and control the decisions that affect them,” the statement said.
In 2013, Sri Lanka slipped to 55 in the World Economic Forum Global Gender Gap Index, from its 2012 ranking of 39, a steady decline since being placed 12 in 2008.