International Women’s Day 2018
March 8, 2018 08:46 am
Today is International Women’s Day, a global recognition of women’s achievements, and governments around the world are marking it in different ways.
It is a time to promote women’s rights, celebrate female achievements and inspire gender equality movements.
It is a day that aims to celebrate the achievements of women in all arenas: social, economic, cultural, political and personal, as well.
The theme this year is #PressforProgress and is based on a push for gender parity worldwide. And with increased celebrity support for the women’s movement thanks to the #metoo and #timesup campaigns, this year’s event has never been bigger.
In celebration of the holiday, Google has devoted their homepage to telling the stories of women.
Sri Lanka’s President and Prime Minister issued the following messages on the occasion:
President Maithripala Sirisena’s message on International Women’s Day
Women enjoy the unique position of ensuring sustainability of human civilization with their reproductive ability and were honoured since ancient times. The modern cultural human being acknowledges that she has a more social value than that signiﬁcant biological factor. I am pleased to send this message of greetings to the International Women’s Day celebrated by the entire world community to make that belief into a common social reality, while extending my best wishes to all the efforts taken to ensure the dignity of women that she is richly deserves.
Sri Lanka is a country, which granted the franchise to women even before many developed Western countries. As a result of this developed social background, Sri Lanka was able to produce the world’s ﬁrst woman Prime Minister as well as the ﬁrst Executive President. I am pleased that we are far ahead of many developing countries in granting equal educational and professional rights to women. The right to education has paved the way for women in our country to secure highest positions in the administrative system of the country. Furthermore, in recent times legislations have been adapted to strengthen women’s participation in governance, and we were able to make this a reality at the recently held Local Government elections.
Our next objective is to develop female entrepreneurship and to increase the female participation in industries and production. Thus, special loan schemes and entrepreneur training programmes have been activated in government and non- governmental level. The ﬁnal objective behind all these programmes is to ensure the female of the country amounting half the entire population to be an equal partner of a nation which possesses a high social development.
I believe the theme “Roads to development - Unveiled by her strength” in this International Women’s day celebration would usher in an important debate on these progressive social development objectives.
I offer all the programmes organized with the aim of achieving these important objectives every success and offer my best wishes to all those women who participate in them.
Prime Minister’s message on International Women’s Day
Today, the time is right for us to focus on initiating a platform that assure women adequate recognition and empowerment, while creating a just and equal society for all. Sustaining an environment that encourages women to play a greater role in society remains key towards progress.
Women already shoulder considerable responsibilities not only in the home but also in the work place - their contribution to the well being of the nation and the society at large remains vital.
The theme of International Women’s Day 2018 “She empowers and lights the path of progress” is therefore both apt and relevant towards greater acknowledgement of women as partners and participants in today’s seamless global environment.
Although women’s participation in education, management, arts and many other spheres remain considerable, the same cannot be said for their political representation. Hence, ensuring 25% participation of female candidates in the recently concluded local government elections must be viewed as a step indeed in the right direction - one that empowers women to play a greater role in the national political arena.
Our Government reiterates its commitment towards creating the economic and social conditions necessary for women and the community in general to live safe and productive lives; while inviting Sri Lankan women to play a strategic role in fuelling the Government’s initiatives, I take this opportunity to wish all a productive International Women’s Day.