A summary report on joint research carried out by Oxfam Australia, Oxfam Sri Lanka and Monash University, on the participation of rural women in agriculture across three districts of Sri Lanka was officially launched in Melbourne on 26 March 2018.
The summary report: Rural Sri Lankan Women in Agriculture: Participation and recognition in sustainable agriculture livelihoods across their life course, examines the barriers and enabling factors for how rural women in the Hambantota, Polonnaruwa and Ampara districts of post-war Sri Lanka in contributing to the agriculture sector through both paid and unpaid work.
The public launch included a keynote address delivered by Professor Jacqui True - Director of Monash University's Centre for Gender, Peace and Security and was followed by a panel discussion and Q&A with key researchers including project lead, Samanthi J. Gunawardana, Lecturer in Gender and Development at Monash University; Min Wah Voon - Portfolio Manager, Oxfam Australia; and Heshani Ranasinghe - Gender Justice Advisor, Oxfam Sri Lanka.
The research found that although women contributed significantly to the sector, they were not equal recipients of resources or services, their contributions were not recognised and were invisible in agricultural policy.
The project is an initiative of the Oxfam-Monash Partnership which combines the resources of the Non-Government Organisation (NGO) and academic sectors to achieve greater development impact than might otherwise be possible. The research findings have helped generate insights and an evidence-base that will be used by Oxfam to inform policy and advocacy towards promoting a more equitable participation and recognition of rural Sri Lankan women in agriculture.