Author: K. B. C. Madhushan


Sri Lanka’s democratic political system has developed incompletely. This is because the society has a mixture of traditional feudal characteristics and capitalist characteristics. With the expansion of suffrage in 1931, women were also involved in male-dominated politics in Sri Lanka. Article 12 of the 1978 Constitution guarantees gender equality. Although the world’s first female prime minister and president were born in Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka has the least representation of women in the Asian region. Among the 225 parliaments that represent Sri Lanka’s national politics today, 12 women are represented. That is 6% (5.78%). Women’s representation in provincial councils is 4.8% and in local government institutions it is 1.8%. Since the past, many women who have been involved in politics can be seen from their family environment as well as their financial ability. According to the 2022 Central Bank report, the total population of Sri Lanka is 22.181 million. 52.4% of them are women. 56% of voters in Sri Lanka are women. Although the majority are women, women are under-represented in decision-making bodies. Therefore, the research problem of this study was, why is the representation of women in Sri Lankan politics minimal? To go the aim was to study the political, economic and social factors that influence women’s underrepresentation. This study was based on primary and secondary data. Interviews and questionnaires were used in obtaining primary data. In obtaining secondary data, election commission results reports, population and statistics records etc. were used. According to the facts found in the research, the factors that affect the reduction of women’s representation are the reduction of the political influence from the family, clinging to many cultural opinions that only the roles of a daughter, housewife, mother and wife belong to a woman in the family, and in the current competitive election system in Sri Lanka, political The challenges of party leadership, the difficulty of competing in a patriarchal society, the election system in voter behavior, and the lack of political literacy are the main reasons for the minimal education. Therefore, it is more important to build the physical and mental strength of women required for politics, to introduce a vote quota system in elections, to streamline election regulation systems, and to include a significant number of women in the national list. Therefore, it seems that women’s representation in national politics can be increased in a political level playing field.  

Keywords: Feminism, Gender politics, National politics, Women’s representation

How to Cite: Madhushan, K. B. C., 2023. An Analytical Study of Women’s Representation in Sri Lankan Politics. ‘Pumithiri’ e-Journal of Gender Studies, 2(2), pp.27-36.


Published on 19 Nov 2023