Sri Lankan nuns were admitted into the Buddhist clergy for the first time in 1,500 years. Women’s rights activist Sunila Abesekera said that the nun’s order was a victory but that significant Buddhist leaders still refuse to accept women as part of the clergy. Abesekera said, “It is important for people to invite these nuns for religious services at their homes and recognize them as part of the clergy …. I doubt if that will happen.”
Non-governmental organizations in Sri Lanka report an increased literacy rate for women at 87.9 percent, compared to 92.5 percent for men. Although Sri Lanka was the first country to produce a female prime minister there are still only 11 women in the 225-member parliament. Sri Lanka’s Women’s Affairs Minister, Hema Ratnayake said that she will introduce legislation that would reserve 25 percent of all political seats for women.