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Women underrepresented in Sri Lankan company, govt senior ranks: ADB

ECONOYNEXT – Women remain underrepresented at senior decision-making levels in Sri Lanka’s corporate and government sectors, with only 6.1 percent of directors of boards of listed firms being women, the Asian Development Bank said.

 “The most blatant gender inequalities are in labor force participation,” the bank said in its country gender assessment update.

“The unemployment rates of women are more than double that of men at all age levels, and there is a large concentration of economically active women in unpaid family labor, particularly in agriculture.”

The ADB report said that women are disadvantaged by the “horizontal and vertical gender division” in the labor market that excludes them from higher income-generating occupations and impedes their upward occupational mobility through the “glass ceiling” to the highest decision-making positions.

“In the private sector, only 6.1 percent of directors of boards of establishments registered in the Colombo Stock Exchange were women,” the report said.

“Sector-wise, women are concentrated in low productivity and low-income agriculture and in the plantation sector, in assembly-line jobs in garment and other industries with minimal opportunities for promotion.”

Women are also concentrated in subcontracted occupations which have proliferated, and in domestic service within the country or as migrant domestic labor.

In the education sector, over 70 percent of teachers, 25 percent of principals, and a few high-level administrators are women.

“The majority of those employed in the professions are women, as the teaching and nursing professions are feminized,” the ADB said.

“At the same time, women are underrepresented among senior officials, managers, and proprietors of enterprises, although 58 percent of university students are women.”  (Colombo/September 14 2015)





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