Post-War Development and Women’s Empowerment in Eastern Sri Lanka: A Case Study of Batticaloa District in Eastern Province
The civil war in Sri Lanka had caused enormous impacts on the physical as well as infrastructure development of Eastern Province. Since the end of war in 2009, the province has immensely benefitted from the state and non-state sectors, particularly in the sphere of women empowerment in terms of their livelihood, education, health, etc. Although, many previous studies have delved into a number of post-war development interventions in the province, it failed to explore the dimension of women’s empowerment. Using both qualitative as well as quantitative methods, this study specifically explores the impacts of socio-economic development initiatives on women’s empowerment in the post war context. The findings show women received much support such as housing assistance, dry rations, livelihood assistance, micro-credit loans and psycho-social counselling from state and non-state sectors including NGOs, and UN organizations in the post war period in the Batticaloa district of Eastern Province and such supports have largely been effective as it contributed to women’s empowerment. Nevertheless, such supports have significantly dried up in recent times with priorities of state and non-state sectors being shifted. Thus, it is crucial for state and non-state sectors to focus on the empowerment of women in future, especially enhancing their capacity in terms of their knowledge and skills, and providing financial assistance for their self-employment on a soft loan basis or under grant schemes.
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