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Getting to Work : Unlocking Women's Potential in Sri Lanka's Labor Force - (Paperback)
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Sri Lanka has shown remarkable persistence in low female labor force participation rates—at 36 percent inthe past two years, compared with 75 percent for same-aged men—despite overall economic growth andpoverty reduction over the past decade. The trend stands in contrast to the country’s achievements inhuman capital development that favor women, such as high levels of female education and low totalfertility rates, as well as its status as a lower-middle-income country.This study intends to better understand the puzzle of women’s poor labor market outcomes in Sri Lanka.Using nationally representative secondary survey data—as well as primary qualitative and quantitativeresearch—it tests three hypotheses that would explain gender gaps in labor market outcomes: (1) householdroles and responsibilities, which fall disproportionately on women, and the associated sociophysicalconstraints on women’s mobility; (2) a human capital mismatch, whereby women are not acquiring theproper skills demanded by job markets; and (3) gender discrimination in job search, hiring, and promotionprocesses. Further, the analysis provides a comparison of women’s experience of the labor marketbetween the years leading up to the end of Sri Lanka’s civil war (2006–09) and the years following thecivil war (2010–15).The study recommends priority areas for addressing the multiple supply- and demand-side factors to improvewomen’s labor force participation rates and reduce other gender gaps in labor market outcomes. It also offersspecific recommendations for improving women’s participation in the five private sector industries coveredby the primary research: commercial agriculture, garments, tourism, information and communicationstechnology, and tea estate work.The findings are intended to influence policy makers, educators, and employment program practitionerswith a stake in helping Sri Lanka achieve its vision of inclusive and sustainable job creation and economicgrowth. The study also aims to contribute to the work of research institutions and civil society in identifyingthe most effective means of engaging more women—and their untapped potential for labor, innovation,and productivity—in Sri Lanka’s future.
Number of Pages: 156
Genre: Business + Money Management, Education
Sub-Genre: Labor, Professional Development
Series Title: Directions in Development
Publisher: World Bank
Author: Jennifer L. Solotaroff & George Joseph & Anne Kuriakose
Street Date: November 12, 2018
Item Number (DPCI): 248-52-0368
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