25 November 2021, Colombo – Sri Lanka’s National Action Plan (NAP) on Women, Peace and Security (WPS) aims to respond to the needs and priorities of conflict affected women. It stresses on the importance of women’s equal participation in maintaining peace and security and intends to address structural inequalities that impede gender equality in the country.
Currently, the action plan is undergoing multi-stakeholder validations including from the G7+ working group – co-convened by UN Women as part of the Japan funded project on implementing the women, peace and security agenda in Sri Lanka. The project is implemented in collaboration with the State Ministry of Women and Child Development, Pre-school and Primary Education, School Infrastructure and Education Services.
“With the support from UN Women, nine provincial consultations inclusive of representatives from all 25 districts were conducted to formulate the draft National Action Plan. It is inclusive of voices from multiple stakeholders, including government officials, civil society, survivors of conflict and women’s groups. Progress has been made to ensure that the overall framework of the action plan has been brought within Sri Lanka’s National Policy Framework Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour”, said Ms. K.M.S.D. Jayasekara, Secretary to the State Ministry of Women and Child Development, Pre-school and Primary Education, School Infrastructure and Education Services.
Women have transformative potential in accelerating economic recovery after conflict and crisis situations such as the ongoing pandemic and in increasing the sustainability of peace. The WPS agenda therefore remains incredibly relevant to Sri Lanka in strengthening peace and security.
Stressing on its importance, Ms. Ramaaya Salgado, Country Focal Point at UN Women Sri Lanka stated, “The provincial consultations revealed the extent to which conflicts in the past and present affect women today. Patriarchal structures continue to marginalize the voices of women in national decision-making, including on issues related to peace and security. The Covid-19 pandemic has seen an escalation of violence against women globally and the widening of inequalities. The National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security is therefore timely to address these new and existing issues that affect the wellbeing of women in the country.”
National Action Plans on Women, Peace and Security are designed to provide a coherent national approach to the implementation of the WPS objectives and commitments under UNSCR 1325 and related resolutions.
“The formulation of Sri Lanka’s National Action Plan on WPS has been supported by Japan since 2019 under this initiative. The current Covid-19 situation has affected women and girls in this country and around the globe. The pandemic also posed a challenge to the ongoing work on the NAP, but the tireless efforts of those who are participating in this process has made it possible for us to gather today in this format. Japan strongly hopes that these validation meetings would contribute further to accelerate the process to materialize the National Action Plan on WPS, in order to serve those most in need”, said Mr. KATSUKI Kotaro, Minister and Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of Japan in Sri Lanka.
Following the national level validations, the National Action Plan will be submitted for Cabinet approval in 2022.