Women in Local Government From 2006 to 2011: A Comparative Analysis of Representation of Women and Nominations for Women

By Chulani Kodikara. Working Paper No: 2. Colombo, ICES, 2012. 25p.

This study of the 2006 and 2008-2011 local authorities elections held in Sri Lanka, compares the number of women elected to local authorities following the 2006 elections with figures from the 2008, 2009 and 2011 elections disaggregated by district, party and ethnicity across all 25 districts of the country. Secondly, it compares the number of nominations given to women at the 2006 and 2011 elections by the four major political parties –United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA), United National Party (UNP), Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), and the Illankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi (ITAK) —disaggregated by ethnicity, in the districts of Badulla, Galle, Kurunegala, Moneragala and Trincomalee. This study aims to unmask and disaggregate national averages and statistics with a view to identifying and analysing patterns and trends in representation of and nominations for women at local government in Sri Lanka. In the absence of official sex disaggregated data on nominations, the study fills a critical gap while emphasising the need to review the official election data-gathering framework from a gender perspective. The study was conducted as part of the Changing Minds: Nominations and Votes for Women Programme implemented by the Women and Media Collective and the International Centre for Ethnic Studies in collaboration with five other women’s organisations.