The Norwegian Embassy in Colombo has contributed NOK 975 000 (approximately Rs. 18.5 million) to improve mobility and access of Women Development Officers of Ministry of Child Development and Women’s Affairs whose work up till now has been restricted due to hardships in transportation.
The Norwegian funds will be used to purchase some 120 motor bikes which will enable increased mobility for the Women Development Officers.
The support also includes permanent billboards in prominent places in all districts with contact details of authorities recognising safety network against Gender Based Violence.
The support is channelled through United Nation’s Population Fund (UNFPA).
A signing ceremony between Norwegian Ambassador Hilde Haraldstad and UNFPA Representative Lene K. Christiansen took place on 2 December hosted by the Ministry of Child Development and Women’s Affairs in Colombo. Minister of Child Development and Women’s Affairs Tissa Karaliyadda, Deputy Minister M. L. A. M. Hizbullah and the Secretary to the Ministry Sumithra Rahubadda addressed the occasion.
Announcing the contribution, the Norwegian Ambassador emphasised the importance of strengthening the community outreach of the grass-root level public officials working to improve the situation for women. The transportation problem is especially acute in rural poverty stricken areas where there is lack of public transport.
This is particularly important for Women Development Officials’ whose main duties focus on enhancing the status of women by restoring the lives of women who have been affected by poverty and in some areas, the conflict. “Norway is especially pleased to contribute to this endeavour, which will have a direct effect on women’s security and development,” the Ambassador said.
Haraldstad went on to highlight how this programme will contribute to empowerment of women, enabling them to participate more actively in the process towards development, cohesiveness of their communities and peace building.
Norway continuously supports activities related to the empowerment of women and promoting their security.
The support covers a wide range of activities which address employment opportunities for women, promoting participation in decision making and preventing and eliminating all forms of violence against women.