Published on March 6, 2008
Empowering Minority Women in Sri Lanka : Empowering Minority Women in Sri Lanka Geethika Ranmalee Fernando November 07, 2007 Background and Introduction: Background and Introduction Where is Sri Lanka? Ceylon tea Distribution of tea plantations Tea plantation workers “Indian Tamils”-who they are and where they are from Living Conditions: Living Conditions Housing and sanitary facilities “lines” “Line” Houses: “Line” Houses Family Systems and Daily Routines: Family Systems and Daily Routines Family system revolves around women Marriage Mothers and grandmothers Breadwinners Victims of domestic violence and rape Employment in Tea Plantations: Employment in Tea Plantations 99% in plucking tea Weeding and pruning Application of fertilizers and pesticides Tea processing factories Daily wage lower than men’s wages Occupational Health-Health risks at work: Occupational Health-Health risks at work Leech bites- causing anemia, charcoal/clay chewing Slide10: Snake bites (pythons, vipers, cobras) Slide11: Skin rashes from bug bites/pesticides Slide12: Varicose veins Slipping/falling from a height or the same level Back injuries Injuries to the nervous system Respiratory infections Skin infections, burns and bruises Oral cancers Interesting facts I learned about these women…: Interesting facts I learned about these women… Strong bone structure High stamina No obesity Low or no incidences of heart diseases and hypertension Very good eye sight even in older women Claim to have less intense labor pains What’s on their plates?: What’s on their plates? Red rice Dried fish Green vegetable-mugunuwenna Reproductive Health: Reproductive Health Irregular menstrual cycles in young women Inability to buy female hygienic products due to poverty Unwanted and excessive pregnancies due to lack of knowledge on birth control Slide16: Small gaps between child births Religious and cultural beliefs imposed upon the choice of marriage and child bearing Rape and incest due to overcrowded and congested living People’s Human Development Trust (PHDT): People’s Human Development Trust (PHDT) Trust fund formed in collaboration with UNDP, UNICEF and 19 plantations of the private sector Health programs and social welfare directed mainly towards women and children PHDT Contributions to Female Employees: PHDT Contributions to Female Employees Day care centers Slide19: Educating young girls on the importance of schooling Taking legal action on domestic violence against women Providing professional family planning advise Co-operative stores Slide20: Provide ambulances free for women in labor Train midwives Provide motorbikes to midwives on easy payment plans Give loans to community women on very low or no interest rates Provide mosquito nets, kerosene lamps and cradles on easy payment plans Building at least one school per division An interview with a midwife..: An interview with a midwife.. Worm treatment given once in every 6 months Counseling on family planning and birth control MMR vaccines given to young girls A “nutrition sac” distributed once a month to pregnant women and nursing mothers Paid maternity leave and an arrears salary Infant mortality rate decreased over the years What next?: What next? Distribute resources equally among both private and government plantations Raise awareness about these communities among the general public Get NGO’s and international donor agencies to fund and implement projects to upgrade their standards of living What This Study Added to My Life…: What This Study Added to My Life… Acknowledgements: Acknowledgements Professors Laura Parmentier and Marion Fass Olga Ogurstava and the venture grant committee My parents My interpreter Uyen Tran and all my friends All of you for attending Slide25: Thank you for your concern towards these women!!