Dr Nisha Arunatilake Discusses Sri Lankan Women’s Access to Decent Work

16 November 2023

Participating in ‘The People’s Platform’ programme broadcasted on NewsFirst – TV1, IPS Director of Research Dr Nisha Arunatilake emphasised the need for better job opportunities and safe workplaces for women in Sri Lanka. Currently, less than one-third of women engage in the labour force and fewer than 10% have access to jobs with fair wages and reasonable working hours.

During the discussion, Dr Arunatilake highlighted several barriers faced by women in the labour market, including the lack of affordable and quality childcare, transportation challenges, and gender-biased labour laws that make it costlier to hire females. She stressed the importance of having women representatives in decision-making bodies and the implementation of existing laws, such as those addressing sexual harassment.

On translating research into law, Dr Arunatilake underscored the role of policymakers, lobby groups, and NGOs, in not only the creation of policies but also their effective implementation. She also shared insights from a recent IPS research on women’s access to decent work and the latest IPS annual flagship publication, Sri Lanka: State of the Economy 2023, emphasising the need for investments in creating quality jobs and addressing the skills gap to enhance women’s access to decent work.

Watch the full discussion here.