Partnership Promotes Women’s Empowerment

Image source: http://www.worldbank.org/content/dam/Worldbank/Feature%20Story/sar/srilanka/sl-innovation-impact.jpg/jcr:content/renditions/cq5dam.resized.400x267!.png

Image source: http://www.worldbank.org/content/dam/Worldbank/Feature%20Story/sar/srilanka/sl-innovation-impact.jpg/jcr:content/renditions/cq5dam.resized.400×267!.png

The World Bank seeks to empower women and generate employment and entrepreneurial opportunities through ICTs in Sri Lanka. They sponsored the Innovation for Impact training workshop for civil society organizations in Colombo, together with Sarvodaya-Fusion, an NGO focused on e-empowerment for rural communities, and Microsoft.  This workshop, held over two days, also included networking and brainstorming components. The partnership is in its third year.

Sri Lanka has set ambitious targets in its Knowledge Services Industry Vision 2022. More women will need to join the technical workforce to achieve these goals. The World Bank seeks to mitigate what it sees as the three main contributing factors excluding women from technical fields: household gender norms, institutionalized patriarchal structure, and “skills mismatch” with the market.

Therefore, Roland Pryce, Operations Advisor for the World Bank in Sri Lank and the Maldives, considers this a key area for NGOs to include in their agendas. They can do this by helping women gain access to part-time employment as well as ensuring institutional arrangements such as childcare exist in the workplace. It is important that this work begins from an early age so girls have ample opportunity to decide about and develop their careers.

Source: The World Bank