She Leads! Empowering Women Leaders in Sri Lanka

Speeches Shim

Friday, August 17, 2018
Sri Lankans check out a display of election instructions, part of an awareness campaign that came ahead of 2018 elections that saw record numbers of women elected to local offices.
Credit: IFES

A 25 percent quota for local women lawmakers ushers in a change to the face of local government

In early 2018, Sri Lanka — an island nation off India’s southern tip — watched in anticipation as the results of the first local government elections since an historic mandate was approved the year before requiring 25 percent of locally-elected government officials be women.

The result: a changed political landscape with nearly 2,000 women elected to local council seats, taking an impressive 23 percent of local elected seats compared to the less than 2 percent of seats they held just a few years ago.

This progress is helping to bolster women’s empowerment. Getting to this point, however, was not easy. Reform came only after years of lobbying by women’s organizations for a quota of women candidates.

Read the full story on Medium