The Japan International Cooperation Agency will provide technical assistance to strengthen the Gender Action Plan (GAP) for Colombo Light Rail, towards making it the first woman-friendly public transport system in Sri Lanka.
The memorandum for this assistance was signed between the Secretary of the Ministry of Megapolis & Western Development and Chief Representative of JICA Sri Lanka Office on September 10.
The technical assistance is provided on a grant basis to supplement and enhance the project impacts and outreach. Currently, there is a significant disparity in opportunities for women in construction and transport operation related fields in Sri Lanka. Also, the prevalence of sexual harassment in public transport hinders the mobility of women impacting their engagement in the formal workforce. Opening employment opportunities to women with the Colombo Light Rail has the potential to address both issues and contribute to the economic growth of Sri Lanka.
The gender action plan for the project includes measures from design, implementation and operation stages. This includes the inclusive design of rolling stock and facilities for the safety and comfort of passengers and employees, measures to prevent sexual harassment, and integration of gender mainstreaming in operation and organizational management.