Sri Lanka is Closing the Gender Gap

onitha-dsc_0169 According to the World Economic Forum Gender Gap Report 2008 we in Sri Lanka have moved a little closer towards equality between women and men. 

 Sri Lanka holds a no.12 ranking for 2008 in this report and has made significant gains, moving up 3 places ahead of UK (13), Switzerland (14), France (15) and is the Only South Asian country in the top 15.

Philippines, is the only other Asian country in the top 15 places and is ranked at no.6. The Index assesses countries on how well they are dividing their resources and opportunities among their male and female populations, regardless of the overall levels of these resources and opportunities.

See Sri Lanka report at

 Photograph © Chulie de Silva:  On a late afternoon drive back to Colombo from Galle after an almsgiving on the death anniversary of my father, I couldn’t resist the shiny fresh bala and alagoduwas at a fish stall in Beruwela.  Chatting to the owner I was pleasantly suprised to learn he had the same name as my father “Benny.”   Chuckling quietly was his pretty wife Onitha who looks like an equal partner in the business.

7 thoughts on “Sri Lanka is Closing the Gender Gap

  1. Chuli, I so appreciate your taking time to talk/listen to people and in this case sharing the good news of Sri Lanka’s ranking in the Gender Gap. A great photo!

  2. We can reach the level of Philippines quite soon I think, with somewhat sadness and shame. We men in Sri Lanka already send quite large number of woman to work abroad, if not work in factories or tea estate, while we lazy Sri Lankan men spend our day doing relatively very little. Women are the breadwinner of most of the Sri Lankan low income families already. So I’m quite happy to see our woman enroll in higher education more than men.

  3. i heard about this too and it’s heartening. glad sam said what he did. for a long time now, we have been a country who pretty much lived on the hard work of women – women make up the majority in the 3 main foreign exchange generators – and on charity. but statistics can paint either a nice or an ugly picture depending on the context. these are a few of the not so nice stats.

  4. Sam

    The situation you allude to is actually common to several countries – not just Sri Lanka.

    In Africa, it is the women who dominate the market towns and trade.

    In agricultural societies throughout the world, it is the men who plough the fields and sow the seed. The barefoot women then do the back breaking work to transplant the paddy – in soggy water logged fields. The women then remove the weeds, harvest the grain and winnow it.

    The men take the final produce to market and get the cash.

    This is what patriachy is all about – men benefit. Its not fair but exists in many places – not just Sri Lanka where women account for the foreign exchange earned be it garment exports, tea exports or remittances from the gulf.

    At least our women are educated unlike say in Pakistan or Afghanistan….

    Best regards

  5. The Sri Lankan version of the Webby Awards! I was so inspired reading these. Wish I could have been there. Some of these inventors/ creative thinkers should be invited to speak at

  6. I would like to make a research about the gender gap in higher education in Sri Lanka.So that i need at least two resources. can anyone help me on this?

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