The revival of economic activity in those areas most affected by the civil conflict was given priority after the war ended in 2009. The development of infrastructure, the resettlement of communities and rebuilding of livelihoods were key areas of focus for the state, humanitarian actors, the diaspora and the private sector.
This research sets out to understand how these initiatives have changed the economic landscape for women in the North of Sri Lanka. More specifically, it explores the economic opportunities that have been created for women's advancement and empowerment in the North since the end of the war. By employing a multi-disciplinary approach, the different studies in this book have been able to uncover not just economic factors, but also cultural, social and psycho-social reasons associated with women's decisions to work, their livelihood outcomes and their state of economic empowerment.
The research shows that while the conflict has unquestionably created a strong regressive impact on the overall well-being of women, long-term structural challenges stemming from deep-rooted gender norms, and flaws in post-conflict livelihood intervention initiatives also stand in the way of women's economic empowerment in the North.
The research is based on fieldwork undertaken in the Northern Province of Sri Lanka in 2015 and 2016.