Sri Lanka. Why aren’t Sri Lankan women translating their educational gains into workforce advantages?
The last two decades have seen a phenomenal rise in girls’ education and a concomitant decline or stagnation in labor market outcomes for women, especially in female labor force participation in central and southeastern Europe, East Asia, Southeast Asia, and South Asia.
This paper focuses on Sri Lanka, a country with a long record of gender equality in education enrollment and high female completion rates, which has also been characterized by low and stagnant female labor force participation. It remains a puzzle why Sri Lanka has been unable to translate its high girls’ education gains into female labor force participation.