Gender Profile: Sri Lanka

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1 General Total male population under 15 (2014) (CIA, 2015): 2,758,360 Total female population under 15 (2014) (CIA, 2015): 2,648,073 Total male population over 15 (2014) (CIA, 2015): 7,935,260 Total female population over 15 (2014) (CIA, 2015): 8,524,752 Health Maternal mortality rate per 100,000 live births (2010) (CIA, 2015): 35 Infant mortality rate per 1,000 live births (2014) (CIA, 2015): 9.02 Under-five mortality rate for males: NA Under-five mortality rate for females: NA Births attended by a skilled health professional (2007) (WHO, 2014b): 98.6% Prevalence of HIV among males aged (World Economic Forum, 2013): 0.1% Prevalence of HIV among females aged (World Economic Forum, 2013): 0.1% Life expectancy for men (2012) (WHO, 2014a): 71 Life expectancy for women (2012) (WHO, 2014a): 78 Education Male youth literacy rate, ages (2010) (UNESCO Institute of Statistics, 2015): 97.69% Female youth literacy rate, ages (2010) (UNESCO Institute of Statistics, 2015): 98.59% Male adult literacy rate, ages 15+ (2010) (UNESCO Institute of Statistics, 2015): 92.58% Female adult literacy rate, ages 15+ (2010) (UNESCO Institute of Statistics, 2015): 89.96% Male adjusted net enrolment rate in primary education (2012) (UNESCO Institute of Statistics, 2015): 93.97% Female adjusted net enrolment rate in primary education (2012) (UNESCO Institute of Statistics, 2015): 93.92% Male gross enrolment ratio in secondary education (2012) (UNESCO Institute of Statistics, 2015): 96.42% Female gross enrolment ratio in secondary education (2012) (UNESCO Institute of Statistics, 2015): % April 2015 Page 1 of 5

2 Male gross enrolment ratio in tertiary education (2012) (UNESCO Institute of Statistics, 2015): 12.78% Female gross enrolment ratio in tertiary education (2012) (UNESCO Institute of Statistics, 2015): 21.18% Percentage of female graduates from tertiary education (2012) (UNESCO Institute of Statistics, 2015): 55.6% Students enrolled in engineering, construction and manufacturing tertiary education programs who are female (2012) (UNESCO Institute of Statistics, 2015): 74.8% Teachers in primary education who are female (2012) (UNESCO Institute of Statistics, 2015): 86.3% Teachers in secondary education who are female: NA Teachers in tertiary education who are female (2011) (UNESCO Institute of Statistics, 2015): 42.6% Economic Activity Males over 15 who are active in the labour force (United Nations Statistical Commission, 2010): 44% Females over 15 who are active in the labour force (United Nations Statistical Commission, 2010): 74% Men who have an account in a formal financial institution (World Economic Forum, 2013): 70% Women who have an account in a formal financial institution (World Economic Forum, 2013): 67% Decision-Making Proportion of seats held by women in national parliament (World Bank, 2014): 6% Human Rights Girls married before 15 (2013) (Girls Not Brides, 2015): 2% Females married between 15 and 19 (World Economic Forum, 2013): 11% Women subjected to physical/sexual violence by an intimate partner during their lifetime: NA Women subjected to physical/sexual violence by an intimate partner or a non-partner during their lifetime: NA * * * Gender Gaps Health National maternal mortality rates have dropped steeply in the past 55 years (from 340 per 100,000 live births in 1960) and maternal health has improved substantially (UNICEF, 2009). However, UNICEF April 2015 Page 2 of 5

3 notes that [i]n recent years, the country has faced a shortage of health workers; according to the World Health Statistics 2008, in the period the country had only 6 doctors and 17 nurses and midwives per 10,000 inhabitants. Of notable concern is the health of women who live and work on tea plantations. These women make up approximately 1% of the country s population over the age of 15 (1.8% of females over that age) but are essential for one of Sri Lanka s key economic sectors; tea accounts for about 18% of the country s export income (Embassy of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, Poland, 2015). The national malnutrition rate for reproductive-age mothers on tea estates is 33%, compared with 16% in the country overall. In addition, the teenage pregnancy rate on estates is 10%, compared with 6.4% nationwide (D Almeida, 2014). According to the World Health Organization, [s]ince 1992, the HIV infections among women have shown an upward trend, which has not been the case for men (WHO, 2012, para. 5). As of 2007, 68.4% of women aged who are married or in a union use contraceptives (UN Gender Statistics, 2015). Education Women s educational achievements are not helping them to obtain equality in employment opportunities. Government labour force data for the second quarter of 2011 indicated that unemployment levels for Sri Lankans holding university degrees were significantly higher for women than men, at 11.6% and 4.4%, respectively (Salary.lk, 2015). Economic Women s employment in Sri Lanka, according to one 2010 study, can be roughly categorised as follows: 24.5% in agriculture and fisheries, 22.7% in elementary occupations, 15.8% as craft workers, and 10.4% as professionals (mostly in teaching and nursing). This shows women are still drastically underrepresented in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). In 2013, women comprised only 35% of the working population. According to Bertelsmann Stiftung s Transformation Index, [m]en dominate the more lucrative levels of employment in both public and private sectors and the average wage of females in the higher reaches of the formal sector is less than half that of men (Weiß, 2014). Decision-Making As of 2006 (the most recent available data), women made up only 4.2% of those in provincial councils and just 1.8% of those in local councils (Kodikara, 2009, p. 13). As of 2013, women made up 32% of legislators, senior officials and manager; there were no women in ministerial positions (World Economic Forum, 2013, p. 342). Human Rights The Gender-Based Violence Forum indicated in 2008 that at least 60% of women in Sri Lanka had experienced domestic violence (IRIN, 2008). April 2015 Page 3 of 5

4 A 2010 report by the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights indicated that sexual violence and gender-based violence is a generalized issue in Sri Lanka (ECCHR, 2010, p. 13). In a 2011 Review of Research Evidence on Gender Based Violence (GBV) in Sri Lanka, the Sri Lanka Medical Association found GBV to be a significant social and public health problem of considerable magnitude in Sri Lanka and stated: It is evident that GBV is currently not addressed adequately by the health care and other relevant sectors in Sri Lanka (Perera, Gunawardane, & Jayasuriya, 2011, p. i). * * * References CIA. (2015). The world factbook: Country profiles. Retrieved from https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/xx.html D Almeida, Kanya. (2014, September 23). On Sri Lanka s tea estates, maternal health leaves a lot to be desired. Retrieved from Embassy of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, Poland. (2015). Ceylon tea. Embassy website. Retrieved from European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR). (2010). Alternative report on the implementation of the UN Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). Sri Lanka: Women and armed conflict. Retrieved from sion_cedaw48.pdf Girls Not Brides. (2015). Child marriage around the world. Retrieved from Gunewardena, Dileni. (2002, December). Reducing the gender wage gap in Sri Lanka: Is education enough? Retrieved from Madurawala, Sunimalee. (2012, October 30). Gender equality in human development: What s holding Sri Lanka back? Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka website. Retrieved from IRIN. (2008). Sri Lanka: Violence against women on the rise. Retrieved from Kodikara, Chulani. (2009, October). The struggle for equal political representation of women in Sri Lanka: A stocktaking report for the Ministry of Child Development and Women s Empowerment and the United Nations Development Programme. Retrieved from %20PDF.pdf April 2015 Page 4 of 5

5 Magda Institute. (2010). Feminization of poverty in Sri Lanka. Retrieved from Perera, J., Gunawardane, N., & Jayasuriya, V. (2011). Review of research evidence on gender based violence (GBV) in Sri Lanka. Colombo, Sri Lanka: Sri Lanka Medical Association. Retrieved from Salary.lk. (2015). Higher education leads to high unemployment? Truth or a myth. Retrieved from UNESCO Institute of Statistics. (2015). Education. Retrieved from UNICEF. (2009, March 9). Prioritizing maternal health in Sri Lanka. Retrieved from United Nations Gender Statistics. (2015). Countries A Z. Retrieved from United Nations Statistical Commission. (2010). Labor force participation, unemployment and economic sector of employment. Retrieved from es%20by%20chapter%20-%20pdf/table4ato4d.pdf Weiß, Roma Rajpal. (2014, December 18). What is holding women back in Sri Lanka? United Nations University website. Retrieved from World Bank. (2014). Proportion of women holding seats in national parliament. Retrieved from World Economic Forum. (2013). The global gender gap report Retrieved from World Health Organization. (2012, April 14). Sri Lanka: Main public health issues and concerns. Retrieved from World Health Organization. (2014a). Life expectancy: Data by country. Retrieved from World Health Organization. (2014b). Women: Data by country. Retrieved from April 2015 Page 5 of 5

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