Empowering women activists through voter education

A debate has commenced regarding an appropriate system that could be adopted at the next round of provincial councils elections. There are 3 provincial councils are already dissolved (Eastern, North Central and Sabaragamuwa) and another 3 councils are yet to be dissolved since their terms have been completed before the end of December in this year.  The reason for the initiation of such a debate is that many diverse collectives, including political parties, have raised their concerns on the challenges they observed during the last Local Government Elections, which were held on the 10th February 2018.

Amidst these deliberations, as an election observation mission, CMEV initiated a voter education programme called ‘Provincial Council Elections Voter Education and Outreach Programme’ with the support of USAID-DAI (SDGAP). The main focus is to invoke awareness for women candidates who are willing to contest in the next provincial councils elections island-wide. CMEV is planning to conduct a series of district-level awareness workshops inviting selected prospective candidates.

The first in this series of workshops was conducted on 17th June in the Jaffna district. Many women activists attended this event.  Mr. Dharmasiri Nanayakkara, Former Local Government Deputy Commissioner and Manjula Gajanayake, National Coordinator of CMEV facilitated the workshop. Mr. T. Akilan, Assistant Commissioner of Elections, (Jaffna District) delivered the key note speech in this event.