PEYTON CROSS WRITES- International Women’s Day has been observed since the early 1900s. Since then, it has grown in popularity as more countries have began observing and celebrating it. To commemorate the special day, The Independent Television Network (ITN) organized a special day-long program titled “Liya Waruna.”  According to the ITN News, it featured shows hosted by beauty therapists, chefs, and handicraft artists. The event then ended with the selection of the Liya Waruna Queen.

The ITN wasn’t alone in celebrating. South Asia Policy and Research Institute (SAPRI) Chairperson Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratung delivered a key note address titled “Celebrating Women: Towards an Inclusive Political Culture.” In her speech, she discussed how all aspects of human life is dominated by and caters to men. She even criticizes religion, stating “Unfortunately, the concept of most major religions are advantageous to men. Today, some of these religions have evolved for whatever reason which may not have original teachings of religious leaders”

Kumaratung wasn’t alone in taking advantage of International Women’s Day to speak on gender inequality. Nirmala Kannangara of The Sunday Leader wrote an article critiquing the lack of female representation in politics. Despite 52% of Sri Lanka being female, according to the Women’s Media Collective, only 5.8% of Sri Lankan parliment representatives are female.

Hopefully the issues raised here won’t be ignored.