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Friday June 14th, 2024

Unpaid care work keeps Sri Lanka’s women out of workplace: Researchers

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka women are kept out of the workforce due to unpaid care work for the children and the elderly, researchers told a public forum in Colombo.

“Currently, women bear a disproportionate burden of care work,” Thathsarani Siriwardena, a researcher at Advocata Advocata Institute, a Colombo-based think tank said.

“In comparison to men, women spend three hours and twelve minutes more engaging in domestic work.”

Female workers compensation is also low, putting day-care out of their reach.

The cost of day-care in Sri Lanka is between 22,400 and 27,000 rupees a month, while the median income of a woman is 25,500, Dissanayaka said.

She was speaking at a forum hosted by Women’s Policy Action Network, a policy action group supported by the Netherlands, and Advocata Institute.

Unequal responsibility of unpaid care work has kept women out of the workplace, a World Bank report also said.

“That’s one of the reasons the female labour force hasn’t gone beyond 30 to 35 per cent,” former Mayor of Colombo, Rosy Senanayake, told the forum.

A report by the International Labour Organisation showed that about 62.8 percent of women stayed economically inactive due to domestic responsibilities and unpaid care work.

“Also, in comparison to men, women spend 54 minutes providing unpaid care services such as taking care of elderly and children,” Siriwardena said.

Elderly care was also a contributing factor as there were limited elderly care facilities in the country.

Advocata confirmed that there are 225 elders’ homes in the country; five of which are State-run. 50 percent of these elderly care centres are in the Western Province.

“In provinces such as Sabaragamuwa and Southern, the elderly population is higher than in the Western Province,” Siriwardena said.

The care of the elderly in Sri Lanka is regulated by the provisions of the Rights of Elders Act and the Protection of the Rights of Elders Act. In 2017, the National Elderly Health Policy of Sri Lanka was launched.

“Elderly care should be regulated by the State,” Siriwardena said. “The existing infrastructure is just five State-run care centres. Secondly, the State should increase their funding for more elderly care centres. Thirdly, elder care centres should be more accessible, not just to the Western Province.” (Colombo/September16/2023)

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Sri Lanka opposition leader proposes Grama Rajya system in addition to 13A

Opposition leader Sajith Premadasa (r) – File photo

ECONOMYNEXT — Sri Lanka opposition leader Sajith Premadasa has proposed devolving power to the village level through a Grama Rajya system in addition to implementing the 13th amendment to the constitution.

Speaking at an event in Jaffna on on Wednesday June 12, Premadasa said all provinces will benefit from the 13th amendment.

“Whatever one’s ethnicity, religion, status or region, this country has citizens of equal level. They’re all Sri Lankan citizens.

“There is no division or grouping.  As we give you and every other province what you should be given through the 13th amendment, we must implement a Grama Rajya system,” Premadasa said, addressing a crowd of school children and other attendees.

Premadasa’s assurance of implementing the 13th amendment has already drawn some protest in the south.

A collective of civil society organisations held a protest outside the office of the leader of the opposition in Colombo on Thursday June 12.

Calling itself the ‘Coalition Against Partition of Sri Lanka’, the group carrying national flags marched up to the opposition leader’s office Thursday June 13 morning and demonstrated against the full implementation of the 13th amendment.

“We arrived here today to hand over a missive against devolving police powers, land powers and judicial powers. If Mr Premadasa is inside, come outside,” Jamuni Kamantha Thushara, Chairman of the Citizen’s Movement Against Fraud, Corruption, and Waste, was seen declaring at the site.

“First of all, tell us what we stand to achieve by dividing and giving away the north and east,” said another protestor, warning against bringing the 13th amendment “anywhere here (paththa palaathe)”.

A police officer at the scene the protestors that a secretary to the opposition leader was ready to accept their letter.

“In Kilonochchi, he says the 13th amendment will be implemented. The votes in the north are going to be decisive this election. To win those votes, President Ranil Wickremesinghe, Sajith and Anura Kumara Dissanayake all say they will implement the 13th. We will not allow this country to be divided into nine pieces,” said Thushara.

Ven Balangoda Kassapa Thero, who was arrested on June 06 during a protest against the new Electricity Act, was also seen at Thursday’s protest. The Buddhist monk requested for a debate with Premadasa on the matter of the 13th amendment. (Colombo/Jun12/2024)

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Sri Lanka rupee closes flat at 303.85/95 to US dollar

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s rupee closed broadly flat at 303.85/95 to the US dollar on Thursday, from 303.80/304.00 to the dollar the previous day, dealers said. Bond yields were down.

A bond maturing on 15.12.2026 closed at 10.00/30 percent, down from 10.20/40 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.10.2027 closed at 10.60/75 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.07.2028 closed at 11.00/15 percent, down from 11.15/40 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.09.2029 closed at 11.80/85 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.05.2030 closed at 11.85/12.05 percent, down from 11.90/12.05 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.10.2032 closed stable at 11.95/12.15 percent. (Colombo/Jun13/2024)

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Sri Lanka sells Rs295bn in 2027 to 2031 bonds

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka has sold 295 billion rupees in 2027, 2029 and 2031 bonds, data from the state debt office showed.

The debt office sold an offered 60 billion rupees of 15 October 2027 at an average yield of 10.30 percent.

All offered 125 billion rupees of 15 September 2029 bonds were sold at 11.00 percent.

All 110 billion rupees offered of 01 December 2031 bonds were sold at 12.00 percent. (Colombo/May13/2024)

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