Greater Social Protection for Sri Lankan Women through Better Jobs: Role of Technology and Innovation
Globally, 740 million women are employed in the informal economy, with limited access to social protection. In this context, this year the United Nations (UN) celebrated the International Women’s Day (IWD), under the theme ‘think equal, build smart, innovate for change’, focusing on how countries can achieve gender equality and empower women, particularly through social protection systems, public services, and sustainable infrastructure. Sunimalee Madurawala highlights the labour market conditions that hinder social protection coverage for women and examines how technology and innovation can help increase labour market access and opportunities for women.
It has become apparent that natural disasters have a gender aspect, where women are often affected more severely than men. A woman’s pre-disaster familial responsibilities are magnified and expanded by a disaster, often with significantly less support and resources. The author argues that, given that women are often in a disadvantaged position in many contexts, the promotion of gender equality implies that attention need to be paid to female empowerment in disaster management.
When it comes to empowering Sri Lankan women in economic terms, there are no one-size-fits-all solutions. It is important to look at the differences in women’s needs and priorities from different settings, in order to introduce more effective development efforts. On International Women’s Day, this blog analyses the issues faced by rural and urban women and discusses ways in which these women can be empowered using a variety of strategies.
Female leadership is a widely discussed topic in today’s world – and many countries have now recognized the importance of having women in top positions. Sri Lanka, however, is sadly lagging behind in this regard. As such, this blog attempts to draw attention to some of the pertinent social and economic issues that discourage Sri Lankan women from realizing their true leadership potential.
According to a study by IPS on ‘Women-owned and Led Micro, Small Medium Enterprises (WMSMEs) in Spice and Coir Sectors of Sri Lanka’, it was found that more than half of the women surveyed, ranked ‘financial concerns’ as the biggest barrier to operating and expanding their businesses. Using the experiences of one such female entrepreneur, this blog illustrates key strategies to encourage and accelerate the gainful participation of WMSMEs in Sri Lanka’s economy through easy and affordable access to finance.