Sri Lankan women still earn less than men

May 24, 2007 (LBO) – Women with qualifications and experience similar to males get paid an average 18 percent less, according to research, but the government says otherwise.

Governments and companies in poor countries like Sri Lanka can’t afford that level of intervention. Women with similar education, location and experience as men were employed in lower paying jobs, says Dileni Gunewardena of Peradeniya University, using data from the Statistics Department’s quarterly labor force survey.

But Indrani Sugathadasa, Secretary Ministry of Women’s Empowerment, says there are no wage disparities at present, in either the public or private sectors, because wages are handled by the wages board and collective agreements.

Despite the government’s denial, the wage gap among public sector officials averages at seven percent.

The lower wage grades have a 24 percent disparity.

Private sector disparity is an average of 23 percent but the lower wage grades have a 28 percent gap.

Disparity was highest among the ten percent of lowest paying jobs where women earned 27 percent less than their mal