Women entrepreneurs face several barriers such as limited access to finance, fewer social and business networks, social issues such as lack of family support, social stigma, and burdens of unpaid domestic work and child and elder care. The Sri Lankan government considers this a priority issue and envisages that 40 percent of the jobs created by 2020 will employ women and seeks to encourage greater female participation and leadership in small and medium enterprises. The assignment focuses to conduct a gender consultancy based on two key sectors: Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) and Tourism within the parameters of Pillar 3. It covers actors and stakeholders in the government, the private sectors and CSOs in the two sectors.
Female labour force participation is important for an economy for many reasons. It indicates the utilization of labour in economy relates to income/poverty status, and acts as a signal of the economic empowerment of women. However, currently, considering Sri Lanka holistically, “economically inactive population” of the country, 69% are females. Only 34% female labour force participation is covered by females. This indicates the fact Sri Lanka possess a majority of untapped manpower which can be clearly utilized for the development of the country. The project is two folded where during the initial stage mapping and analysis of secondary data related to the stakeholders of selected two sectors has been conducted. During the second stage consist of consultations with stakeholders including state, CSOs, service providers, women’s collectives and approach to develop draft sector focused policy and programming briefs that
identify specific gendered implications and new actions.