As part of a three year project, over 500 young women from plantations and rural villages will be brought together, by Plan International Ireland and KPMG, in community-based groups for training in financial literacy and management, ICT and household economic security as well as micro-enterprise development.
The initiative aims to equip vulnerable young women with the skills to claim and exercise their rights as citizens in order to escape the poverty cycle and maintain gainful employment.
Commenting on the announcement, Shaun Murphy, Managing Partner at KPMG in Ireland said:
Supporting gender diversity and enabling female empowerment removes barriers to development and means not only a better life for individuals, but a safer, healthier and more prosperous world for us all. We are delighted to support Plan International Ireland in Sri Lanka.
Geraldine Kelly, Chair, Plan International Ireland added:
Driven by Plan International’s commitment to levelling the playing field for all women, this new partnership has the capacity to be a game-changer for thousands of Sri Lankan women and their families. Helping more women to become financially literate and confident enough to access the services they need to set up their own businesses is good for the Sri Lankan economy and society.
Through the ‘Training of Trainers Model’, it is envisaged that participants will go on to help educate an average of more than 20 additional girls in community-based business groups, bringing the total number of participants to 10,000 over three years.
The main barriers to women and girls in Sri Lanka claiming economic and social rights are:
• Women in plantation and rural communities are isolated and lack information, training, voice and economic leverage;
• Weak capacity in civil society organisations to champion the needs and rights of their constituency and to hold local government to account for effective gender-sensitive delivery of services to women;
• Local government authorities are entrenched in political patronage and are ill equipped to respond directly to the needs and circumstances of young women in rural and plantation communities.