Home / Special Report/ BCIS seminar puts spotlight on ‘‘Women as Change Agents,, to reach to the top

BCIS seminar puts spotlight on ‘‘Women as Change Agents,, to reach to the top


Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Wednesday, 11 April 2018 00:00


By Shannon Jayawardena

A seminar on ‘Women as Change Agents’, organised by the Bandaranaike Centre for International Studies (BCIS) last week, shared insights as a form of empowerment for all women across the country while emphasising on women in global governance.

The event focused on the key topics; role of Sri Lankan women in economic development, role of women in current national efforts in development, a changing world with women decision-makers and women in diplomacy.

Keynote speaker, United Nations Former Under-Secretary-General Radhika Coomaraswamy said: “Statistics from UN Women show 82% of women parliamentarians, in a 39-country study, have been subjected to psychological violence. The word governance has been included into our vocabulary and has gradually taken over. From the women’s point of view, the enactment and implementation of the convention of the discrimination of women is one example for network success, which is very important.”

She noted that individual women can make it to the top. The reason for the lack of women representation is discrimination and the boys’ club mentality of political parties and senior management who do not consider women as equal or capable which, in many parts of the world, intimidate women and prevent them from coming forward.

“The most important factor that women share across the globe, especially in the corporate sector, is the dual burden that they have between work and home. The number of women in high-level corporate sectors is very low, though individual women have done well,” stated Coomaraswamy. “Women could reach the top, but all you need is a good attitude and the facet to organise yourself.”

She further said that, for most married women across the world, dual burden remains the major obstacle to achievement besides discrimination. Bandaranaike National Memorial Foundation Chairperson and Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga stated: “Why is it that we are talking about women as change agents and how to get more women into leadership, but why not men as change agents? Obviously, because there is some gap there. I find it distraught that millions of years after human beings appeared on this earth that we still have to talk about giving women their rightful place.”

She noted that, today, we are in an age of electronic combinations, in an age where we can travel 1000s of miles in a few hours, where distance doesn’t matter but still talk about giving women their rightful place as leaders, as change agents and whatnot.“I think that the most important thing is for us to seriously think why this is so. In South Asia, if I limit myself to our part of the world, we know that even today, in the modern age, the woman is massively oppressed in some societies. All religions give the woman a very important place but on the other hand, we find women relegated in a corner, into the kitchen, beaten up, sexually abused, physically abused and very oppressed,” added Kumaratunga.

She also said that the reasons for this are that both men’s and women’s lives are based on religious believes, philosophies and the cultural practices that are built on that. Still, all our traditional practices radiate the women to second place. These are the issues that we have to think about and of course, fight for equal rights.

Pix by Gitika Talukdar


Share This Article


DISCLAIMER:

1. All comments will be moderated by the Daily FT Web Editor.

2. Comments that are abusive, obscene, incendiary, defamatory or irrelevant will not be published.

3. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.

4. Kindly use a genuine email ID and provide your name.

5. Spamming the comments section under different user names may result in being blacklisted.

COMMENTS

Today's Columnists

In the desert of Tamil films, actor Sivaji Ganesan was an oasis

Saturday, 22 September 2018

‘Indian Film,’ first published in 1963 and co-authored by former Columbia University Professor Erik Barnouw and his student Dr. Subrahmanyam Krishnaswamy, is considered a seminal study of the evolution and growth of Indian cinema. The book is cit


Imran may turn blind eye to blasphemy law and persecution of Ahmadiyyas

Saturday, 22 September 2018

There are clear signs that Pakistan’s freshly minted Prime Minister, Imran Khan, will make a sincere effort to reduce corruption and maladministration in the domestic sphere. In foreign affairs he is likely to make a brave attempt to mend fences wi


The rate of exchange, capital flight and the Central Bank

Friday, 21 September 2018

The Central Bank (CBSL) exists for the sole purpose of price stability. Its controls on the financial system and monetary policy exist to maintain price stability. As put forth many times by the Governor, the failing of the CBSL to control inflation


Red flag over the Sri Lankan Navy

Friday, 21 September 2018

Shocking story Rusiripala, a former banker in Sri Lanka, who has taken to writing in Daily FT, is perturbed by the red flag I have raised (Daily FT article 18 September) over the shocking charge that our Navy had operated a ransom gang that had abduc


Columnists More