Sri Lanka, formerly known as Ceylon, is an island in the Indian Ocean lying off the southern tip of India. It has a population of over 20 million people.
Sri Lanka is renowned for its extensive natural beauty and exports of tea, garments and rubber. Social and economic development have been hampered by a long and bitter civil war arising out of ethnic tensions between the majority Sinhalese and the Tamil minority in the northeast. After more than 25 years of violence, the conflict officially ended in May 2009. The violence killed more than 70,000 people, severely damaged the economy and greatly harmed potential tourism.
This year’s Women’s Innovation Fund is targeting women who work in rural estate areas, where there is a higher incidence of poverty and significantly lower levels of education, health and employment than the national average.
Plan will support these women to be aware of and understand their rights and the responsibilities of the government, so that they can demand better services and accountability from the local and national authorities. We will work to stregthen existing grassroots women’s organisations to effectively represent and advoacte for the interests of their members and to influence decision-making and budgetary processes.
Specifically, Plan will develop the ICT skills of women so that they can use the internet to access information about services, government programmes, training opportunities etc. and to provide feedback regarding government services and programmes. The programme will also improve women’s access to information regarding livelihoods opportunities including information on access to finance and employment opportunities.
The programme is expected to directly reach up to 14,000 women in the programme target locations over a 3 year period.