Quality Jobs

Empowering Sri Lankan Women: Highlights from the National Policy Conference on Women’s Access to Decent Work in Sri Lanka

The Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka (IPS) recently conducted a thought-provoking discussion aimed at improving women’s access to decent work in Sri Lanka. The event, titled the ‘National Policy Conference on Women’s Access to Decent Work,’ was organised in collaboration with the Partnership for Economic Policy (PEP) and Co-Impact and took place at the Dr Saman Kelegama Auditorium, IPS.

Why Promoting Decent Work Matters More Than Just Any Job for Sri Lankan Women

Sri Lanka’s low female labour force participation rate (FLFP) has received intense policy attention over the past several decades for many reasons. It is widely assumed that improving FLFP will not only empower women and reduce gender disparities but will also promote productivity and economic growth. Over the years, a popular strategy for promoting FLFP by successive governments has been to encourage self-employment opportunities or entrepreneurship. However, FLFP has remained below 35% for years. Self-employment jobs are highly vulnerable to economic fluctuations as social safety nets do not cover them. Furthermore, on average, self-employment income is lower than other types of income. This blog argues that to empower women and drive economic growth, policy should focus on facilitating women’s access to decent work over access to any job.

Improving Quality of Jobs in Sri Lanka: Can Exports be the Panacea?

Sri Lanka’s labour market has been riddled with persistent high informality, an unchanging low female labour force participation, and low quality of available jobs. Enhancing exports can be a solution to these intractable problems, according to the findings of the Exports to Jobs – Boosting the Gains from Trade in South Asia report, which shows that boosting exports improves domestic labour markets by creating jobs, increasing wages, and reducing informality.