Women in Work

Australia working with business to create jobs for Sri Lankan women
Today I launched the ‘Women in Work’ program at the Colombo Stock Exchange.  This builds on our long-standing overseas development assistance which has helped to build peace and reconciliation in the country.
The programme is a $15 million partnership over four years to provide Sri Lankan businesses with new tools and strategies to create greater employment and business opportunities for women in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka has a very low female workforce participation rate at 36% and unemployment amongst women is double that of men.
“Supporting firms to create more and better jobs for women, including in leadership, has the potential to drive economic growth to benefit all Sri Lankans, and stability in the country means greater stability in the region for Australia.  Utilising the full potential and talents of Sri Lankan women also reduces social inequality,” said Minister Fierravanti-Wells.
Women in Work’ will be delivered through collaboration between the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the private sector.
Women in Work’ will establish a coalition of businesses that engage and retain talented women.  The program will also support better access to financial services for businesses owned by women. This investment will focus on demonstrating that better gender policies improve corporate performance.
The Australian Government places a high priority on supporting women’s empowerment through our foreign policy and aid program.  Not only will these programmes support greater growth and prosperity in Sri Lanka, but will build on the peace and stability of the region.