Gender Based Occupational Segregation and Economic Empowerment of Women in Sri Lanka

Type Working Paper
Title Gender Based Occupational Segregation and Economic Empowerment of Women in Sri Lanka
URL Based Occupational Segregation and​Economic Empowerment of Women in Sri Lanka.pdf
Women’s economic empowerment is the capacity of women to
participate and benefit in growth process of an economy. The
economic empowerment recognizes the women’s contributions in
employment and value of respects and their dignity.
Sri Lankan women have achieved a relatively higher status in terms of
civil rights, education, employment etc., when compared with women
in other developing countries. However, the Sri Lankan women have
not fully achieved equal rights and gender equality according to
international norms in all aspects including employment (Centre for
Women’s Research, 2011). Although, Sri Lankan government had the
commitment to ensure gender equality and recognizes women’s right
since ratifying the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of
Discrimination against Women in 1981, women experienced
discrimination in their career lives. While the state provides equal
employment opportunities in the public sector employment, there is a
wide discrepancy in the law and the reality.
Alam (2014) indicates that educated female can perform a significant
role in their family economy by having an employment. They also
receive better status and power in the family as well as in the society
due to financial gains. According to West (2006), working status is
important to empower women economically and the employed women
also have greater likelihood for higher empowerment in other aspects
than those women do not employed.
Despite the equal access to women at all levels of education, women in
Sri Lanka are still facing discrimination in the employment sector
(Moore et al. 2009). Majority of Sri Lankan women are employed in
plantation, free trade zones, stereotype jobs, foreign employment etc.,
however previous studies have not examined sufficiently the ability of
women for access to jobs pay higher remuneration and existing
barriers which limit to entering them in such job market. Therefore, it
is essential to identify current situation of women’s participation in
different type of employment and its role in economically empowering
the Women in Sri Lanka. It is also necessary to identify sustainable
remedies to overcome discriminations against women entering to
highly paid employment sector.
The objectives of this study are to examine gender based occupational
segregation and its impact on economic empowerment of Women and
to identify the challenges faced by women in economic empowerment
in Sri Lanka.
The study utilizes secondary data from Annual Report of the Central
Bank of Sri Lanka in 2013, Sri Lanka Labour Force Survey Annual
Report- 2012, Sri Lanka Labour Force survey Annual Bulletin- 2013
and the World Bank data base. The study mainly based of descriptive
techniques which uses indices and percentage to analyses the data.

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