Women candidates complain of law of the jungle

By Kaumadi Punsaradevi

The Women and Media Collective (WMC) of Sri Lanka yesterday said many women contesting next month’s Local Government polls had complained of character assassination and misoginistic

statements being made against them by their male rivals at election rallies. It said some men of their own political parties were reluctant to have women on their campaign.

Addressing the media yeserday in Colombo, the Technical Adviser for Programmes and Research at the WMC, Kumudini Samuel said such complaints had been received by the WMC from Badulla, Galle, Kurunegala, Trincomalee and Colombo districts.

In some electorates the female candidates had been particularly asked to buy large quantities of liquor for all male campaign supporters, said Sumika Perera the Coordinator of Women’s Resource Centre. While in some parties the organizers had demanded that the women pay large sums of money on propaganda, she said.

Speaking of the elections campaigns in Galle District, Sriyani Pathirage of the Rural Women’s Front said many party organizers had allocated the top three places on their nomination lists to female contestants who could be easily manipulated. They included wives and other female acquaintances of the organizers.

Maithreyi Rajasingam the Executive Director for Viluthu Centre based in the Northern and Eastern provinces said a large number of cases of violence against the female LG polls contestants in the North and East had been reported, against which many residents of the area had protested while challenging the political parties to give more women the opportunity to contest for the provincial councils.

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