Adaptation Strategies of the Sustainable Livelihood Considerations for the Internal Displacement Women in Sri Lanka

33 Pages Posted: 13 Mar 2017

Date Written: March 11, 2017


Intensification of forced population displacements as an onslaught of ethnic conflicts and human rights violation negatively affected the socio-economic status of many South Asian countries. Sri Lankan Internal Displacement (IDP) population escalated at a soaring rate subsequent to the historical military triumph over Tamil Eelam (Civil War) rebellions. Cataclysms of the prolonged insurgence disrupted livelihood activities thus imposing socio-economic impediments amidst thousands of displaced people.

Among the affected, women were considered as most vulnerable. Owing to the loss of their counterpart family burdens shifted on their shoulders, in making them the de facto heads of households. These women engaged in numerous entrepreneurial activities in diverse sectors of the economy in order to supplement their families. Unfortunately, the outbreak of Eelam war 3 erupting from Eastern Sri Lanka destroyed many of their livelihoods.

Despite such trauma women of North-eastern part of Sri Lanka, the sample under study were recently resettled from IDP camps to their previous villages. The IDP women were depend on government and International nongovernmental organization (INGO) assistance than adapting to the changes of their independent sustainable livelihood pattern. These women entrepreneurs found nothing than war ruins on their return hence, facing immense constraints to continue their livelihood activities as addressed, dependence rate also very high and current initiatives taken by the government/INGOs, were not sufficient and prevailing with some issues of their assistance programmes. There is requirement to make them independent entrepreneurs by providing training, changing mind sets for adaptation of the new livelihood. Further adaptation strategies by using local resources were discussed.

Suggested Citation

Gunawardana, Kennedy, Adaptation Strategies of the Sustainable Livelihood Considerations for the Internal Displacement Women in Sri Lanka (March 11, 2017). Available at SSRN: or

Kennedy Gunawardana (Contact Author)

University of Sri Jayewardenepura ( email )

Gangodawila, Nugegoda 10250
Sri Lanka

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