Sri Lanka women keeping economy afloat – UN

Nov 01, 2007 (LBO) – Sri Lanka is depending on women to earn foreign revenues more than any other country in the world with the bulk of worker remittances and export earnings generated by women, a UN official said. “If you look at both Sri Lanka’s primary exports and remittances, women dominate the sectors,” said Omar Noman, chief of policy changes and macro economic development at the UN Development Program.

“Women dominate in textile employment, women dominate in foreign employment.”

In the tea industry, the island’s main export commodity, tea pluckers are mostly women.

Noman told LBO in an interview that the role played by women in Sri Lanka’s economy was extraordinary.

“There is no country in the world where such a high proportion of foreign exchange is earned by women. Sri Lanka is even higher than the Philippines,” he said.

“So it really is an extraordinary fact of Sri Lankan life and economy that women play such an exceptionally large and powerful role in both the export sector and in remittances.”

Female migrant worker remittances also far exceed that earned by males.

In 2006, women migrant workers remitted 157 billion rupees while men remitted only 75.6 billion rupe