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In the Ampara District of Sri Lanka, women face various challenges related to empowerment, which cultural norms, socio economic conditions, and access to resources can influence. Some key issues include

Economic Hardship:

Women heading households often struggle financially to provide for their families, particularly in regions affected by conflict. Many may need more stable employment opportunities, adequate income, or access to financial resources, making it challenging to meet their families' basic needs.

Limited Access to Education:

Women in rural areas, especially those from conflict-affected communities, may have limited access to education and vocational training opportunities. This lack of education can perpetuate cycles of poverty and hinder their ability to secure sustainable livelihoods for themselves and their families

Inadequate Social Support Systems

Women heading households often lack adequate social support systems, including childcare services, family counselling, and community-based support networks. This can increase their caregiving responsibilities and limit their ability to engage in income-generating activities or pursue education and training opportunities.‚Äč

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Gender-Based Violence:

Women in Ampara District, as in many other parts of the world, are vulnerable to various forms of gender-based violence, including domestic violence, sexual harassment, and early marriage. Cultural norms and societal attitudes may perpetuate violence against women, making it difficult for them to seek help or escape abusive situations.

Limited Economic Opportunities:

Women in rural areas of Ampara District often have limited access to income-generating opportunities and face barriers to economic empowerment. Lack of education, skills training, and employment opportunities can affect their financial dependence on male family members..

Healthcare Access:

Healthcare services, including maternal and reproductive health services, can be limited in rural areas of Ampara District. Women may face challenges such as long distances to healthcare facilities, lack of transportation, and cultural barriers that prevent them from seeking timely medical care, leading to adverse health outcomes.

Political Participation and Representation

Women's participation in decision-making processes and political representation may be limited in Ampara District. Cultural norms, lack of support networks, and gender stereotypes can deter women from entering politics or holding leadership positions, thereby limiting their influence in shaping policies and programs that affect their lives.

Limited job opportunities

The household faces immense hardships in finding jobs and alternative life-supporting opportunities. The major contributing factors are the need for more market access and the lack of skills. This helped increase the population in a limited resource base and increased the dependency of one family struggling to survive. Poverty due to unemployment increases pressure on the existing lands and lagoon resources. The rural economy in the Ampara District may primarily rely on traditional agricultural practices, which may need to offer more employment opportunities for the youth. The lack of diversification in the local economy limits the availability of non-agricultural jobs in sectors such as tourism, manufacturing, and services.

Urban Migration

Due to the lack of job opportunities in rural areas, many young people migrate to urban centres or overseas for employment. This rural-to-urban.

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