Tuesday, 31 December 2013 00:01
The women’s empowerment project funded by Opposition Parliamentarian Rosy Senanayake this time focused on enhancing the dressmaking skills of women in the Colombo Municipal Council. An awards ceremony was held yesterday at the Public Library recognising the skills displayed by the participating women at the end of the fourth edition of the program.
Speaking at the ceremony Senanayake stated that the main aim of this project is to empower women: “If we want Sri Lanka to be a fully developed country we not only have to focus on economic growth but we need to also focus on the satisfaction of the citizens as well. The recent budget is only focused on the financial and economic growth of the country and has forgotten about the social wellbeing of the people.
“Recent statistics point out that a family of four needs Rs. 45,000 per month for their expenses and if you look at the minimum wage of a government servant it is Rs. 24,000 with the addition of other incentives. How can a family survive if only one person is employed? If this government thinks about the wellbeing of its citizens why have they increased the prices of essentials? The wellness and nourishment levels in provinces like north and east are deteriorating due to lack of awareness.”
Senanayake especially thanked Nanda Athukorala a Diploma holder in dressmaking for assisting in conducting the training programs this time: “Women with their responsibilities in the household may not be able to financially provide for the family but with dressmaking they can earn extra money and support the family in their own ways. Dr. Anoma Gamage with her industry experience and expertise has stepped in to provide advise to these students should they need to establish their enterprise. I should also acknowledge the support Micro Finance has lent by providing the credit facilities for the students to purchase the necessary equipment and start their businesses”.
Further elaborating on her previous projects which were based on cake decorating and beauty culture, Senanayake said that the students who participated in the program have established their enterprises and are earning a steady income: “People have participated in our previous programs without a gender or age barrier. You have to now brush-up these skills that you have acquired and pay more attention to the quality of the end product if you are planning to move forward as an entrepreneur. I hope that you would put these experiences in to good use. I believe that if a woman is empowered the whole family in return would be empowered.”
Pic by Lasantha Kumara