A Delegation of Women Members of Parliament from Sri Lanka will visit Australia on a study tour from 21-29 March 2018.
The delegates are Chandrani Bandara MP, Minister of Women and Child Affairs, Thalatha Atukorale MP, Minister of Justice, Dr. Sudarshini Fernandopulle MP, State Minister of City Planning and Water Supply, Vijayakala Maheswaran, State Minister of Child Affairs, Dr. Anoma Gamage MP, Deputy Minister of Petroleum Resources Development and Sumedha Jayasena MP, Deputy Minister of Sustainable Development and Wildlife. Mohammed Nawaz, Country Director – Search for Common Ground Sri Lanka, will accompany the delegation.
The visit is made possible through the support of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade as part of their overall support to strengthen the Women Parliamentarians Caucus in Sri Lanka. The visit will provide the MPs an opportunity to engage in a cross selection of discussions and events with a focus on improving the situation of women in Sri Lanka.
During the visit the Sri Lankan delegation will take part in a round-table discussion on Women in Leadership at Asialink – University of Melbourne
with senior academics and women leaders. They have been invited to a Public Forum at the State Library of Victoria under the theme ‘Spice Up Your Rights’ to discuss women in the workplace, sexual harassment and the #metoo campaign with Kristen Hilten, Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commissioner and Journalist Tracey Spicer.
The visit will also enable the delegation to visit the Victorian State Parliament to observe how the State Parliament operates and to learn about Australia’s system of local, state and federal government. They have been invited to a round table discussion on domestic violence to learn about State of Victoria’s leading preventive approach to domestic violence with Mary Barry, Our Watch; Marion Frere, Office for Prevention and Women’s Equality; Alison MacDonald Policy Manager Domestic Violence Victoria too. They will also meet the Ambassador for Women and Girls Dr. Sharman Stone for a discussion.
The delegation will also travel to Canberra and visit the Parliament House in Canberra and will attend several meetings with Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, Tony Smith MP Speaker of the House of Representatives, Scott Buchholz MP, Chair of the Parliamentary Group on Population and Development, Ann Sudmalis MP, Sharon Claydon MP, Emma Husar MP and Senator Claire Moore. During their stay in Australia, Sri Lankan women parliamentarian’s delegation will visit the Australian War Memorial to attend a discussion on women in peace building and memorialization.
The Delegation is scheduled to meet Women’s Workplace Equality Agency- the agency in charge of promoting and improving gender equality in Australian workplaces and they will meet some Male Champions for Change as well. The Sri Lankan delegation will also have a unique opportunity to meet and network with the visiting delegation of women parliamentarians from Myanmar in Canberra.