25 July, 2024

Blog

Gender Equality, Empowerment Of Women & The JVP: Capitalism & Empowerment Of Women

By Lionel Bopage

Dr. Lionel Bopage

Patriarchy and capitalism

Exploitation of women continues within patriarchal societies and marriages. Forced marriages, is one of the more notorious examples; the most extreme version of this, is a form of modern-day slavery. In 2017, the International Labour Organization (ILO) designated this in its statistics for the first time. Recent estimates indicate that 22 million people globally are living under forced marriages. By making the current gendered order appear normal and natural, the patriarchal society has brought about lasting psychological damage on others due to gender differences. It has been done the same way that class and racial oppression have historically been framed as “natural” by those in power. These social norms have become today’s gender stereotypes. This includes the idea that women are a universally caring and nurturing species whereas men are violent and are more suited to war. By deliberately confining individuals to narrow gender roles, patriarchy not only disadvantages women, but also many men. The intention was only to serve to reinforce the patriarchal mindset.

Capitalism grew and was sustained by the degradation and exploitation of humanity the world over. “Colonial policy frequently laid a heavy hand on social development, freezing old forms of hierarchy and creating new ones in the name of tradition. Simultaneously, colonial policy impoverished society; plundered social wealth and directed that wealth towards the North Atlantic states; and created social deserts in areas that once had rich cultural dynamics and the potential for social development” (The Tricontinental 2021, Dawn: Marxism and National Liberation). Only a few saw the colonial intervention as progressive for their capitalistic social development, since these colonial powers typically collaborated with the worst elements in the societies of their colonies to maintain power, such as the aristocracy, landlords, clergy, and traditional intellectuals.

Bourgeois nationalists confronted this by denying it and by glorifying traditions, whether they were precolonial forms or forms fabricated under colonialism. This kind of revivalism only deepened the morass, stifling the development of the colonised economy and its society. Peasant and worker revolts pushed the bourgeois nationalists to understand that, while the task of political independence had to be seen as central, it could not be isolated from the social revolution and the revolution against the economic and cultural conditions that had been put in place by the colonial powers. These powers worked intimately with the landed aristocracy and the bourgeoisie to suffocate society” (Ibid).

Patriarchy is closely associated with masculinity. Masculinity has provided the socio-cultural foundation for gender discrimination in social institutions. Hence, any policy formulation for moving away from gender discrimination has to start with policy conversations on patriarchy and masculinity. The concept of masculinity is associated with the ideas shared about “what men do and who men are, as well as what men should do and be” (OECD 2023). For example, societies in many countries believed and still do that men make better political leaders than women.

Without critiquing and inhibiting the norms of masculinity that constrain the empowerment of women, it will be almost impossible to transform society into a more gender-equitable one. In Australia, for example, this is attempted through dialogues and programmes that involve both men and boys, and women and girls. In addition, Australian governments have enabled an environment where both women and men can take parental leave. That is in the belief that men and boys engaged in a fairer distribution of unpaid care and domestic tasks could help shift age old unexamined norms and practices.

Quota system and gender inequality

There has been decades of debate world-wide whether quota systems would help shift the balance of gender representation in both the public and private sector. Would such a system contribute to changed attitudes about women in politics? Would quota systems help change the status quo in environments where rigid gender norms restrict women’s ability to become political leaders?

In Sri Lanka, women are underrepresented at all levels of government, national, provincial and local. At the general election held in 2020, there were only about five percent women’s representation in the parliament. The amendments to have a mandated 25 percent quota for women and implemented since 2016 have led to women’s representation at local government level to increase from two percent to around 23 percent. However, an Australian government funded study found that despite the increase in the number of women, women representatives did not address the key issues of entrenched gender inequalities in the political system, the lack of democracy in political parties and predispositions against women in society. However, with increased numbers active in the public sphere, women have been  able to break through the glass ceiling at the local government level.

The study found that both female candidates and councillors encountered gender based violence and intimidation, but neither legal frameworks nor media exposure protected them. In fact, the current system was found to be perpetuating male dominated structures. The study recommended that training and development programs in gender sensitisation and democratisation had to involve both men and women in order to address the power imbalances at the local government level. In addition, the local government system had to be made more participatory, inclusive and democratic. Political parties need to develop policies that will foster gender sensitive participation, structures, processes and promotion. A quota of at least 25 percent women at the parliamentary level was also recommended.

The JVP’s history in organising women

In the post 1984 record of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), one cannot find many references to its pre-1984 activities carried out for organizing women. Society was then much more male dominant, despite several women dominating politics and the bureaucracy in Sri Lanka. Only a few mentions are recorded in the JVP history that has been written later in the nineties, about the contribution women had made in the development of the party organisation. One reference is to the first rally, the JVP held at Hyde Park in August 1970. Comrade Rohana Wijeweera, as the main speaker of the rally, made an appeal after his speech to make whatever donations possible for the purpose of taking the party forward. Some young women in the audience donated their necklaces and ear rings.

Another reference was to the ‘Rosmead Case’ heard at the criminal justice commission, in which 22 suspects were charged for attempting to abduct then Prime Minister Sirima Bandaranaike. Out of the 22 suspects seven were women; six of them were undergraduates. Among those who did not plead guilty at the trial were Comrades Somawansa Amarasinghe and UA Nandaseeli of Ragama, who played a leading role in resurrecting the Socialist Women’s Front. There was another note about the 4th congress of the JVP delegates held in Colombo in 2002. These references do not relate to organising or empowering women, but to the presence of thousands of workers, farmers, youth, students and women in the JVP ranks during the post 1977 period.

In the pre-1984 JVP, there was a general belief and acceptance, particularly among the leadership that women cadre/members/sympathisers of the organisation had not developed adequate political consciousness and / or matured enough to take leadership roles in the party. The party leadership could not find any women who had these qualities. This was a general reflection of the socio-economic background and the backwardness which exhibited our political consciousness on the matter. Many of us, including me had a rural Sinhala Buddhist upbringing. This was reflected in our political praxis when it came to women cadres.

When the JVP started its open political activities after the United Front regime withdrew emergency rule in 1976, all female cadre of the Socialist Women’s Front had been told to end their daily travel by 6.00 pm. Whenever a woman cadre had to travel during the day, another woman cadre had to accompany her for safety. When I heard this story, I was taken aback because at that time, there was no danger lurking around for any woman to walk alone in the streets, to have such a rule. Looking back, I think, if we compare the roles played by some of the male leaders of the party, then the JVP at that time would have had many female cadres, who could have had political leadership roles, in which they would have been more than competent. Sadly, they never did get the opportunity. I would like to highlight this not only as a self-criticism but also as a political learning experience.

A further complication was that the leaders of the JVP at the time did not see eye to eye with the agenda of women’s liberation movements that was gaining popularity around the world. We did not maintain or develop any networking relationships with any women’s organisations. I remember comrade Sunila Abeysekera, probably in early 1978, organising a discussion at  Ward Place with some women activists including a Tamil lady, who became prominent later. Comrade Rohana Wijeweera also attended it. Unfortunately, the party leadership (including me) did not take this political initiative forward. This may have been because for us, building Socialist Women’s Front was not different to building another solidarity organisation like Socialist Student’s Front or Socialist Bhikkhu Front – not one of empowering women.

Challenging Patriarchy

Pre-1984, the JVP was not in a position to challenge the patriarchal political culture that prevailed in society. However, many of us were aware of the women’s rights movement growing in the form of feminist liberation movement the world over. This political current reflected an alignment of feminist intellectualism with women’s liberation, which we simply saw as a western influence on women rather than a liberating one. To a certain extent, comrade Sunila Abeysekera was representing this political current. However, the JVP comprised of individuals who grew up in a rural Sinhala Buddhist patriarchal society. Some of us may have been intellectually aware of the ingrained bias due to our upbringing, others may have openly displayed this bias in their political action.

Unconscious bias, prejudice or stereotype about women and people of other backgrounds to us was sadly a political fact of life. These subconscious attitudes may not have been well-formed, but appeared ingrained; which impacted our emotional and rational responses to the everyday issues we encountered. This unconscious bias (or implicit bias) affected the way we felt and thought about, women, who would have been suffering due to the socio-economic inequalities that were prevalent in society. Likewise, was the way many of us looked at the socio-economic issues affecting Tamils, Malaiyaha workers, Muslims, Christians, Hindus etc. Such biases were mostly ingrained in our consciousness during our childhood upbringings and tainted with the then accepted norms of caste, class and other social prejudices.

For example, during my childhood in Weligama, the latrines were cleaned by a class of people known as “Sakkili”, a derivation from the caste classification in South India, by the name of Chakkiliyan. Later on, I came to understand that these people were forced through Hindu religious edicts and sanctions and through violent means into conducting these demeaning tasks.

Hinduism comprises a spectrum of philosophies of living, with each component having its own deities and beliefs. People categorised as “Sakkili” were and are considered the lowest caste with an exceptionally low status in the Hindu caste system. They also practice Hinduism and as other Hindus do, and they believe they can attain “moksha” or freedom from the endless cycle of birth, death and rebirth by performing rituals and good deeds. Like many Buddhists visiting temples and Kovils looking for divine help, the people categorised as Sakkilis, visit Hindu Kovils and offer prayers, food, flowers, and incense to their gods in the hope of gaining protection and benefits.

In countries like India and Sri Lanka, it is difficult to escape from casteism. It is a surviving social stratification that divides people into groups based on their karma (work) and dharma (duties). Over the years some measures have been taken to eradicate the caste system. Unfortunately, it still remains an inescapable reality.

I can still recollect, the “Sakkili” community in Weligama, both men and women, performing a special type of dance playing their own type of drums, while being heavily drunk and very upbeat during annual festivities. Isn’t it strange, even something as universal as dance were not immune to the biases of the caste system?

“Sakkili” people only eked out a subsistence income. Hence they had a very low literacy rate. Traditionally in India, they have been leather workers or human waste (“night soil”, or human excrement collected at night using buckets) removers. If we look at this issue in an incisive manner, one could identify that this social classification was an outcome of a society that lacked a proper sanitation system. When someone handles human waste, the way the “Sakkili” community did in Sri Lanka and India, the reluctance of the rest of the society to associate with them can be understood. As the sanitation systems have become better, the need for this community to perform their demeaning tasks does not further exist.

Even after several decades these types of communities continue to suffer due to human bias and discrimination, though for many their plight has improved. Some of them have moved to other areas of work such as agricultural and casual day workers. In Tamil Nadu, after receiving a good education, some of them have been occupying administrative positions both in private and public sectors.

To be continued

Part 1: Gender Equality, Empowerment Of Women & The JVP

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 2
    12

    Men and Women are not born same or to be equal in every way.
    That is not the same as saying that women are inferior; Or, men are superior.
    Both sexes are different, functionally. And, in many other productive ways.
    Gender Equality is simply a theoretical point of view.
    .
    Why do we have men and women compete among themselves AND NOT AGAINST EACH OTHER in sports. The Hunters and Gatherers distinction is not accidental.
    .
    We could go on arguing in this until the cows home. I am not going to do it!

    • 10
      3

      “That is not the same as saying that women are inferior; Or, men are superior.”
      Has it not occurred to you that women could be superior?
      *
      Equality is not identicality.
      The question of equality comes out of unfair ad unequal treatment of women as a gender since the institution of family came into being.
      Nothing is theoretical about that.

    • 0
      7

      Nathan:
      “Men and Women are not born same or to be equal in every way.
      That is not the same as saying that women are inferior; Or, men are superior.”

      Very correct. Men and women were created to COMPLEMENT each other and not try to be equal to and compete with each other. They will find true fulfillment when they perform the roles that are natural to them.

      Talking about superiority, the historical record and present realities bear testimony to male superiority in so many respects. In virtually any field imaginable–science, arts, music, inventions, business, etc. etc.–it is men who have stood out. Can you name, for example, a single female music composer of international repute? Even in fields traditionally associated with women, it is men who dominate. The best chefs and tailors in the world are all men. Recently, I saw on TV a cooking competition in India in which the sole male competitor won (there were about eight or ten women)!

      • 6
        0

        Hello Leonard,
        The last time I visited the Middle Ages in my Time Machine, I reckon that you were a stowaway from deepest Shropshire, England.
        This is the 21st Century, I have met many women Scientists, Engineers, Geologists and Medical Consultants etc. Don’t take Sri Lanka as being the norm – https://www.aei.org/carpe-diem/women-earned-the-majority-of-doctoral-degrees-in-2020-for-the-12th-straight-year-and-outnumber-men-in-grad-school-148-to-100/
        Men and women were not created, we are the product of 3.5 Billion years of evolution. About the only thing that men are much better at than women is killing other humans.
        Best regars

        • 0
          4

          … About the only thing that men are much better at than women is killing other humans.
          You are WRONG LankaScot.
          Most probably you don’t have a Sr Lankan wife!

        • 0
          3

          LS:

          Try to understand the comment first before you reply.

          The key words are “stood out.” Men who have distinguished themselves in various fields, including those traditionally associated with women, far outnumber women.

          In science and invention, think of Archimedes (ancient Greece), Newton (my scientific hero), Galileo, Bohr, Faraday, Pasteur, Fleming, Planck, Crick, Einstein, Edison, etc. etc. Marie Curie is the only exception from that period.

          Similar lists can be given for other fields.

          From the Nobel Prize’s inception in 1901 to 2023, the tally is men 905, women 65 (that, too, mostly in peace and literature).

          Now what say you?

          Actually, I must confess that after the interactions I have had with you thus far on various topics in CT I am beginning to think that men may now be “evolving” to be the inferior sex.

    • 0
      4

      Those champions of gender equality have no idea what they are for.
      Do you men and women react the same way to, say a scary movie?
      We are born differently to fulfill the varying and different human needs.

    • 2
      0

      nathan

      “Men and Women are not born same or to be equal in every way.”

      nathan,what you are trying to say is they are born for different and important purposes in life.Women are born to see that our species do not become extinct and men are born with greater strengh etc to protect their families and territories.

      I understand what you say but in the 21st century we cant treat women the way they were treated a 1000 years ago.procreation has lost its value as we have 8 billion now.

      women are educating themselves want to work and earn an income and have the minimum children to look after.So that purpose for which they were originally created with dm and eve has changed a lot. At that time also they were created equally by god but for differnt purposes and at this time too they have been created equally by god.

      So they have to be treated equally where gender, age, ethinicity etc are immaterial.

      that is called a meritocracy.The sooner sri lanka races towards a meritocracy the sooner we will be in the first world without wallowing in the third world for ever.

      • 0
        2

        shankar, EQUALITY is not in question. What is EQUALITY is.

  • 2
    1

    Margaret Thatcher, the only prime minister to win three consecutive terms. If you wish to consider this as an exception, you haven’t heard of an Indira Gandhi, or a Golda Meir.

    • 1
      0

      nathan

      what about angela merkel with 4 terms and not seeking the fifth.

  • 2
    1

    It is a surviving social stratification that divides people into groups based on work and duties.
    .
    Once again, I beg to differ.
    .
    Are the names, Barber, Mason, Carpenter, etc., accidental … ?

  • 6
    1

    I do not mean to nit pick but is not the institution of Sakkilis you describe a Sinhalese-Buddhist institution? Its practice was among the Sinhalese as you describe it so it is Sinhalese.
    Jaffna had something similar but they are called Parayahs not Sakkilis (or Chakkikiyar as in India).
    Caste is practised by both Sinhalese and Tamils. Be that as it may, the Sinhalese try to escape culpability saying it is Tamil (Hindus toi, saying that the Christians also practice it!).

    It is misleading to say, as in the article, “In Tamil Nadu, after receiving a good education, some of them have been occupying administrative positions both in private and public sectors.”
    Why look so far? In Jaffna there was Principal Rajadurai at Central College. I was at the UGC where I oropsed him for the Jaffna Council and my UGC colleagues trusted my recommendation — usually the Minister appoints nembers and the UGC faithfully plays along, but in this case it was the filling of one vacancy so the Minister let us realky make the appointed
    I saw it as a way if uplifting the community and saw Rajadurai as a person who would push for his community. He pushed. Many at the university were upset with me for it (but not enough to make me not get into the list if three for VC.

    • 6
      1

      The LTTE did not like other centres of power. So they murdered him. The crowds at the funeral including many boys from other schools exposed how isolated the LTTE had become.
Beyond Rajadurai, there are many other examples of Parayas doing well in Jaffna — we have many Protestant priests, judges, bank managers, government agents, etc, etc

    • 3
      0

      “Jaffna had something similar but they are called Parayahs”
      Please check it out.
      The Parayar community carried out a variety of tasks including work as agricultural labour.
      They were not exclusively scavengers.
      I think that Raghavan has written extensively on the subject more than 50 years ago.

    • 0
      1

      condescending ………..

  • 9
    2

    A Woman Disqualified and Removed as Principal of Jaffna Central College
    I wish someone would write about how a woman was thrown out as Principal of Central College just a couple of weeks ago because she is a woman.
    It is said that Douglas Devananda, an old boy of the school, is responsible because he wanted his man as the Principal.
    Until then, the ousted Principal was in good standing as Deputy Principal until she was promoted to Principal. There were female teachers too in good standing.
    Then, finding no good reason why the Principal should be removed, they sudenly discovered that Jaffna Central College is a boys’ school. So the ministry ordered her replacement.
    I heard of her removal only at the big match (Central-St. John’s) when a new person, a man, appeared as the Central Principal at the closing ceremony.
    The Tamil newspapers had a lot to say about this matter but have now gone silent. The English language newspapers have been generally quiet. May be I missed it but they had little to say, patronising Tamil men. I suppose they are loyal Sri Lankans keeping up the good name of Sri Lanka where women are treated well!
    What does the Minister of Education Susil Premajayantha, usually a decent sort, have to say about this? I believe he owes us an explanation for the terrible blow to this poor woman from his ministry.

  • 4
    0

    This writing is far too early for our pride land by now it could suits by 2048 ,
    “Equality” no where to finds here.have only “one force”.these writers /contributors may live in white man comfort in morden world.
    Ground reality is ….. health education social welfare food is luxury…
    Pvt tuition and hospitals are essential part of life and thriving business
    .
    “Ceylon tea” not yet Sri tea, the pluckers of number one Leaves stateless people living here more than 200 yrs but living conditions is ,..,,.,.,..

  • 0
    1

    Dr.LB, When God created Adam there were only the animals whom he had named. Then God said it was not good for man to be alone and created Eve to help him maintain the garden and also to procreate offspring. This happened in their marriage but women are meant to help men to govern well and not to create problems while doing that. Men can not procreate but only govern but women have this dual role and hence women need to establish and look after family and children as a priority. Women should not induce men to disobey God. Where there is no family to neglect, women can rule as well as any man.

  • 4
    1

    There are political bullshit floated around just for political advantage/expediency.

    Ranil’s “developed country by 2048” ……. is such bullshit. ……. One has to be a human neophyte ……. to buy them wholesale.

    Lionel/JVP/NPP has all of a sudden discovered gender-equality ……. cause 53% of Lankans are women. ……. And they have to win their vote.

    Do Lankans genuinely believe in gender equality? …….. Your guess is as good as mine! ……. The only person who doesn’t have to guess is Native Vedda!!

    But to give Lanka it’s due ……. there has been equality in some fields/areas ………. the field of Medicine is such – either SJ or OC alluded to this somewhere, can’t remember the post. Unbeknown to most Lankans – if I’m not mistaken – there has been good (exemplary?) gender equality there.

    You’ll be surprised to learn …….. that gender discrimination in the field of Medicine is rife in some “advanced” countries …….. where female doctors earn only 70% of a male doctor’s salary for the same work. It’s a very common topic that comes up in the media.

    • 5
      1

      Cont,

      In a ballpark sense ……… in the “underdeveloped” world most “beliefs” stay unchanged for a long time ……….. in the “developed” world they come and go in cycles …….. after all the civil rights won by the Blacks in the 60’s/70’s ……… it only had to take Donald Trump to appear on the scene to make discrimination against Blacks fashionable again. ………. It goes to show that equality was not a deeply held belief in the American society. ……. It was there just for appearances to make people feel good about themselves: like Native’s and Ranil’s morals.

      To be moral is to have no “morals.” ……… The greatest moral person in the world has no “morals” ……… because he is honest …… at least to himself.


      I want the JVP to win for the long overdue change …… and at least to kick out the freeloading ex-presidents and their families from government houses and take away their perks. ……. More than that I don’t expect much.

      I will not go out on a limb to support them ……. because when they fuck it all up like the true “Sinhala Buddhists” they are ……….. I don’t want to be up the creek without a paddle ……… gotta keep an escape hatch open when Native and OC come after me ……..

    • 4
      4

      nimal fernando

      I know you are not with people but with strongmen like Trump, Gota, Hitler, …… and VP you should listen to Prashan De Visser Speech at Rotary Club of Colombo who tells us we can do it:
      “Transform Sri Lanka or Die Trying”
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sS9Nn8UO974&t=662s
      An inclusive Motivational speech.

      • 2
        0

        Native Vedda,
        Your idea ‘Transform Sri Lanka or Die Trying’, is nothing new.
        That is what Tamils have been doing eternally!

      • 3
        0

        “Prashan De Visser Speech”

        Native,


        Talk is cheap.

        If it’s only talk what it takes ……… by now, Lanka would be the best place on earth.

  • 1
    1

    Gender bias and violence against women are not unique to Sri Lanka. However, domestic violence targeting women, and incest is rampant amongst the poorer segments of society, particularly the plantation sector. These are driven mainly by poverty and alcohol abuse.

    Sri Lankan politicians are big time perpetrators of gender bias, verbal abuse against women and sexual harassment women as regularly demonstrated in parliament.

    “A Change is Gonna Come” – is an all-time Sam Cooke classic. Let’s hope it becomes a reality for the people of Sri Lanka.

  • 1
    0

    The moment we speak of gender equality, it automatically turns out to be a debate over gender disparity. The only difference, if at all, we are speaking must be about Biological disparity (occurring at the time of conceiving) and what it endows on males and females.

    Instead of this debate, why not introduce the subject: “From Everyone according to capabilities to uplift the social standards of society?”

  • 0
    7

    Author:
    “Only a few saw the colonial intervention as progressive for their capitalistic social development, since these colonial powers typically collaborated with the worst elements in the societies of their colonies to maintain power, such as the aristocracy, landlords, clergy, and traditional intellectuals.”

    Do we have here a rabid Marxist lurking behind a seemingly benign visage?

    • 4
      0

      LJ,
      I am surprised you don’t seem to know that Dr. Bopage was once General Secretary of the JVP.

      • 0
        2

        Gender Equality…

        What does this mean? Does it mean we are equal in every way? Does it mean access to wealth irrespective of Merritt but only based on their Gender? ….

        Empowerment Of Women…

        Does it mean women have no power? Does it mean they are not in powerful positions? Should men hand over power just based on Gender without assessment? Does women have to earn their place through hard work and dedication or it’s not relevant? …

        JVP Capitalism…

        Is it the general idea where you make a system and give access to capital and higher rewards when starting business? Is the government going interfere and reduce the free market trends?
        Is it going to be 50 percent communism and 50 percent capitalism? ….

        Other than the above questions we need to know where their morals based on? …

        Is it going to be above religion and culture?…

        Is there restrictions to free speech when you challenge the government?…

        Will they restrict the free internet Media and social Media platforms?…

        Will they change the education based on their agenda?…

        Definitely change is required but not radically… Like India and Indonesia, we need to plan for 20 years at least and change the course gradually….

        In this current trend in the world you have to trust our business community and build hope in our society without harming the social equity…

      • 3
        0

        old codger

        Watch this clip, AKD is in Canada,
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aLd46OJSsY4
        Canada visit Anura Kumara || AKD || Malimawa || NPP || Canada

        He questioned Ranil’s overseas trips.
        Now who is paying for his travel expenses?
        Is it Our Man in Bandarawela, China man in Sri Lanka, or Hindians from middle East, or Ranil from his own pocket?
        We must ask Wimal.

      • 0
        4

        OC:
        I was aware of his past association with the JVP. It now seems that his later falling out with them has done nothing to dent his zeal for Marxism.

      • 2
        0

        True, old codger,
        .
        But there is nothing rabid about him.
        .
        Panini Edirisinhe (NIC 483111444V) of Bandarawela

    • 6
      0

      “Do we have here …?”
      I wonder what rabidness drives such knee-jerk response.

  • 0
    1

    ”Gender Equality, Empowerment Of Women & The JVP: Capitalism & Empowerment Of Women”

    What a long winded write up, from colonialism to ‘sakkili’ community in Waligama, underrepresentation of women in SL politics to ‘Patriarchy’, I couldn’t understand the message the author is trying to convey. Did the old JVP discriminate women & the current JVP, in the guise of NPP, correcting that anomaly? Seems socialist countries never had female leaders, although, in capitalist countries gender is not an issue, so what is the question?

    We have our share of women in politics, from weeping widows to medical doctors juggling family life & even a Sorbonne graduate, as well as, aging actresses, porn stars, beauty queens & celebrities but if a majority of women prefer not to dabble in politics, don’t blame gender inequality & under representation. Lack of opportunity applies to males too. As for empowerment, what exactly are we talking about? Is the rest of society unable to stand up to domestic violence, forced & underage marriages, abuse, that take place & influence govt. to legislate such backward practices or do Govts. need words ‘straight from the horse’s mouth’ to take action? If I am not mistaken, there have been ministries for woman affairs, so what is this big deal on giving ‘power’ to women now?
    In the same vein, I won’t be surprised if there is a call for Bhikku empowerment too.

  • 2
    0

    Have Ranil, Basil, Mahinda, Namal, Ali Sabry, Dinesh Gunewardena, the Speaker, Wijedasa Rajapaksha and gang thought empowering women is equal to reducing the age of consent to 14? Will they allow their daughters (including the other MPs) to have sex at 14?

  • 0
    2

    Agree. You and I seem to be the only sane voices on this subject.

    • 1
      2

      The above comment of mine was addressed to Raj-UK. I seem not to have posted it in the right place.

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 200 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically disabled after 5 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.