A Sri Lanka delegation led by Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Iran, G.M.V. Wishwanath Aponsu participated in the 07th Meeting of the Working Group of Women’s Economic Empowerment of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) from 22-23 May 2023 in Tehran. The Meeting was chaired by the Director General of the International Office of the Vice Presidency for Women and Family Affairs of Iran Dr. Khadijeh Karimi. Ministers, Deputies and high ranking representatives from 14 IORA Member States including India, Bangladesh, Maldives, Malaysia, Mauritius, Oman and United Arab Emirates and senior officials of the Iran government and the IORA Secretariat attended the event.
In his speech, Ambassador Aponsu appreciated the remarkable progress made by the IORA Working Group on Women’s Economic Empowerment together with all Member States and relevant partners, since its establishment in August 2018, for the advancement of women’s economic empowerment. While making general remarks on the report of the IORA Secretariat, he conveyed the recent initiatives of the Government of Sri Lanka towards improving women’s economic empowerment of the country. Establishing the National Center for empowering women headed households in Kilinochchi district and adopting the National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security for the period of 2023-2027 were highlighted among the recent initiatives for women’s empowerment in Sri Lanka.
The Sri Lankan envoy also reaffirmed that the country is committed to working toward achieving women’s economic empowerment in a collective manner under the IORA Framework. Further, he appreciated the Government of Iran for the excellent arrangements and the warm hospitality.
Representatives of other IORA member countries delivered their speeches and spoke on their national positions during the Working Group Meeting and two Panel Discussions; “Women’s Economic Empowerment; Innovations, Experiences, and Best Practice” and “Women and the Fight against Corruption”. The meeting enhanced closer collaboration of the IORA Member States and increased the level of exchanges on women’s economic empowerment and created a platform for exploring common challenges and exchanging lessons learned and best practices.
The Working Group of Women’s Economic Empowerment of the IORA is the main body tasked with improving women's economic empowerment in IORA and exists to explore possibilities and avenues for IORA Member States to cooperate to promote Women's Economic Empowerment within the IORA region. It is also a key deliverable of the IORA Action Plan 2017-2021. The Ministry of Women, Child Affairs and Social Empowerment of Sri Lanka, the focal Ministry, facilitated the participation of the Sri Lanka’s delegation in the Working Group Meeting.
Embassy of Sri Lanka
30 May 2023