Women’s Affairs Minister Chandrani Bandara is too busy with elections to comment on women’s issues, The Nation learnt after multiple attempts to contact her. When asked if she could comment on the rising incidents of sexual violence against women, especially in the Northern Province, Bandara said she was, “busy with election campaigning,” and as such could not comment.
The minister’s response made The Nation question if the authorities were ‘too busy’ to do their job of addressing women’s issues. Women of the Northern Province, whether they are widows, single mothers, unmarried or divorcees, face many problems, including sexual harassment and violence. While organizations like Viluthu and Jaffna District Women’s Federation work hard towards empowering women and addressing issues faced by them, government authorities don’t seem to be giving priority to women’s rights. ‘Campaigning’ apparently is far more important. (See page 8-9 for comprehensive story on women being subject to violence in the North)