National level politics in Sri Lanka is in unusual turmoil. Yet, long-term positive changes are happening at the local level among women politicians. For many women in Sri Lanka’s local councils, politics is new. They have received much-needed support and new skills in trainings supported by Demo Finland.
However, the number of women alone is not enough to guarantee that women’s voices are heard in politics. In the 2018 election, a large number of women with no political experience became councillors, as they were recruited at the last minute in order for the parties to meet the mandatory quota. Many of these women lacked the skills and confidence needed in politics. At times they were also looked down on by male politicians as they had entered councils thanks to the quota. There has been a great need for training and peer support among women councillors.