COLOMBO, July 7 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lanka's Ministry of Women's Affairs on Tuesday called on all political parties contesting the August parliamentary elections to nominate at least 30 percent of women candidates from each party.
Swarna Sumanasekera, chairman of the National Committee on Women under the ministry, was quoted by local media as saying that the ministry also requests the political parties to allocate one third of seats for women in the national list.
"We want well educated women who can contribute to the social and national development of the country's economy to be nominated and elected into the new parliament," Sumanasekera said.
The Sri Lankan government has proposed to increase the number of seats in the parliament to secure more minority and women representation.
According to local media, the percentage of women in the last parliament was 5.8 percent which is the lowest rate of representation in parliament for women among South Asian countries.
Sri Lanka currently ranks 140 out of 153 countries in female representation in parliament.