Sri Lanka’s economy had an annual percentage growth of 6,5% from 2003-2012, the labor force rates among men and women distinguish. Even though the female population (51,14%) is a bit higher than the male, equal chances in the labor market are not preexisting.
With a total labor force of 53,6% in January 2015 and an employment rate of 95,8% Sri Lanka’s economy is still increasing. But on the other hand the participation rate of women in the labor market didn’t increased in the last years. It even decreased from 33,6% to 32,8% in the period of 2002-2011.
Only 35% of the female population in thce labor force with a 93,2 employment rate, compared with a male rate of 74,2% in the labor force and an employment rate of 97,3%, the gap between male and female is large.
The expected female labor force rate is through the increasing economy and as a consequence increased generated jobs way to low. Especially through the educational attainment of the female population in Sri Lanka the expected rate was much higher.
Even in the female population there is a strong divergence in the participation rates in the labor market. Different factors like family situation (married, single etc.), religious affiliation and education level cause different results within the female labor force participation rate.
Differences through family situation; most often married women are not available/present on the labor market: the results are a low participation rate and a high unemployment rate.
Otherwise never married have one of the highest participation rate of 40% but still they experience the highest unemployment rate with 20%. Only women without any family support (divorced, widow, separated) reach a higher participation rate of 45% compared to the rate of unmarried women having family support.
Sri Lanka’s government is currently implementing policies to achieve acceptable conditions and to increase participation rates of women into the labor market. One of the main problems is the everlasting implementation of these polices. Columbia for example achieved over a time period of 20 years an increase in the women participation rate of 20% up to 65%. It is possible to increase and implement the necessary policies.