Dr Asanka Wijesinghe Flags the Significant Role Played by Women Workers in Sri Lanka’s Ready-Made Apparel Industry

23-25 January 2023

“Sri Lanka’s ready-made garment sector and the women who work in the sector play an important role in the country’s economy. The importance of this is heightened by the foreign exchange crisis. Moreover, the pandemic put them in a vulnerable position, both physically and financially”. IPS Research Fellow Dr Asanka Wijesinghe made these remarks at the Women RISE Inception Workshop in Nairobi, Kenya. Women working in Sri Lanka’s ready-made apparel industry are the target group for the IPS study ‘Improving Pandemic Responses to Reduce Adverse Health Effects on Women Workers in Sri Lanka’s Export Sector’ funded by the International Development Research Center (IDRC).

Dr Wijesinghe, Dr Erandathie Pathiraja, Research Fellow, IPS and representatives of the partner organisations Mr Anuradha Kumarasiri Director General, Department of National Planning and Dr Myra Yazbeck, Associate Professor of Economics, the University of Ottawa, participated at the event.

The workshop included numerous interactive training sessions and twenty-three international research teams shared their research projects at the workshop. The event was organised by the Health Policy and Research Organisation (HPRO), a consortium comprised of the African Population and Research Center (APHRC), Aga Khan University Graduate School of Media and Communications and the African Women’s Development and Communications Network (FEMNET). The Women RISE initiative of the International Development Research Center (IDRC) supports action-oriented and gender-transformative research on how women’s health and their work (paid or unpaid) intersect and interact in the context of preparedness, response, and recovery from COVID-19.