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University Grants Commission - Sri Lanka

Gender Equity/Equality

About Us

The Standing Committee is the standard setter, policy maker, arbitrator of UGC policy on gender equity / equality in Sri Lankan universities.


Gender equality is the notion that men and women are similar; that they have common needs, interests, and priorities based on their humanity that should be treated equally via equal rights, freedoms, status, responsibilities, opportunities, access to resources and benefits, and control over them. Equality is understood to lead to an absence of discrimination.

Gender equity recognizes the differences between men and women depending on their biological sex, their gendered life experiences as well as their social distinctions / intersections. Consequently, men and women have to be treated equitably so as to ensure the fulfillment of these differing needs, interests and priorities. Equity is expected to provide for fairness and justice.

The Standing Committee of Gender Equity/Equality is founded on the simultaneous conceptualization of gender equity / equality. This means that both the similarities of men’s and women’s life experiences as well as the differences in their life experiences are taken into account in conceptualizations and discussions about gender.


Ensuring that the HIEs under the purview of the UGC have the institutional capability to ensure a conducive, gender-just working and learning environment to all its members and are recognized for their excellent practices.

Goal of the UGC Standing Committee on Gender Equity/Equality in Higher Education

To promote gender equity / equality in Sri Lankan universities by giving policy direction to establish gender-sensitive university cultures and university environments which allow students and university staff (academic / administrative / support) to pursue their work without oppression and discrimination.

Objectives of the UGC Standing Committee on Gender Equity / Equality

• To formulate UGC policy on gender equity / equality in Sri Lankan universities,

• To institute, administer, coordinate and oversee the Centre for Gender Equity / Equality at the University Grants Commission,

• To establish a parallel / alternative redress mechanism for sexual and gender-based violence in Sri Lankan universities, and

• To review policies and contribute gender related policy inputs to higher education.


Members Information

Name Designaion/Institute
Prof. Mohan de Silva Chairman/University Grants Commission, (Co-Chair of the Standing Committee )
Prof. Kumudu Wijewardena Dept. of Community Medicine/Faculty of Medical Sciences/University of Sri Jayewardenepura (Co-Chair of the Standing Committee)
Prof. Sarath Amunugama Former Vice Chancellor, University of Kelaniya
Prof. Uma Coomaraswamy Competent Authority/Eastern University, Sri Lanka
Prof. Neloufer de Mel Senior Professor/Department of English, Faculty of Arts/University of Colombo
Prof. PSM Gunarathne Vice-Chairman/University Grants Commission
Prof. Camena Guneratne Dean/Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences/Open University of Sri Lanka
Prof. Jennifer Perera Dean/Faculty of Medicine/University of Colombo
Prof. Hemantha Senanayake Head/Dept. of Obstetrics & Gynaecology/Faculty of Medicine/University of Colombo
Prof. Maithree Wickramasinghe Professor in English/Dept. of English/University of Kelaniya
Dr. Harini Amarasuriya Open University of Sri Lanka - (Academic Secretary of the Standing Committee)
Dr. Romaine Fernando Rajarata University of Sri Lanka
Dr. Wijaya Jayathilake Dept. of Agriculture-Extension/Faculty of Agriculture/University of Peradeniya
Dr. Nishadini Peiris Senior Lecturer, Uva Wellassa University of Sri Lanka
Dr. Jeyashankar Sivagnanam Eastern University, Sri Lanka
Dr. T Sanathanan Dept. of Fine Arts/University of Jaffna
Mrs. Shafinaz Hassandeen Former Programme Officer – ILO
Ms. Janadari Wijesinghe Secretary of the Standing Committee

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