Gender Disparities and Labour Market Challenges: The Demand for Women Workers in Sri Lanka
Most Sri Lankan women are either unable or unwilling to engage in paid work: only 36 percent of women of the working-age cohort were either employed or seeking work in 2019. Supply-side analyses have identified unpaid care and household work, skills deficits, and gender discrimination as underlying supply-side factors. Demand-related elements such as the characteristics of the firm and attitudes of management are largely unexplored. This study addressed this gap in the literature by analysing primary and secondary data from private, formal enterprises in the manufacturing, trade, and service sectors to understand the attributes of firms that influence the demand for women workers.