Political Participation of Women in Local Governance: A Case Study of Selected Local Government Bodies in Eastern Sri Lanka
Although Sri Lanka has 51% women, their participation in local governance as well as in the national parliament is 5% in total. The strong social development indicator of women in areas such as health and education has not translated into their increased political participation. As such, this study focuses on the level of women’s participation in local governance and explores why there is a low level of political participation of women in local governance. Both quantitative and qualitative methods comprising of questionnaire survey, interviews and focus group discussions were employed in this study. The findings show organized collective involvement of women was effective only in social welfare, livelihood and social security than political participation. The study also reveals that the low level of political participation by women is attributable to biological, economic, psychological, religious and political factors. Overall, it was found that although women are interested in participating in local governance, they have a lack of space for political participation.
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