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Livelihood Development Programs for widows Implemented by the Ministry of Child Development & Women’s Affairs, Sri Lanka
The goals behind the establishment of the Ministry of Child Development & Women’s Affairs were the creation of a Sri Lankan society that is sensitive to the needs of children and women and work for their betterment. In the year 2011 much attention was paid to ensure the protection, welfare and development of women and children by building up a prosperous and secure family, targeting the family unit father, mother and children. Our President also emphasis the importance of a family unit where the development, protection of rights of women and children are a main concern. In 2011 collecting data of widows and women headed households with a scope of ensuring welfare and care of women was commenced. According to our available data there are 591,637 widows in our country. Economic empowerment of widows and women headed families program is set sail as a way forward to strengthen the social, economical and psychosocial wellbeing for them to face the challenges. The contribution of widows and women headed families were fruitfully gained in the process of development. Under the Economic Empowerment Program various projects were implemented such as self employment program in selected 20 Divisional Secretariat divisions, home gardening program, revolving credit program, fisheries sector women self employment program, migrant women self employment program and livestock development program in island wide . In all these programs 2171 women were benefitted. All these programs are continuing for this year too. 1. At the design stage of the program an analysis was undertaken to identify the most vulnerable areas and from that area beneficiaries were selected. 2. In the analysis we studied there were any gender specific disparities such as Gender based violence, constrains due to income and the dependency. 3. All these programs were developed to achieve our ministry goals and objectives and to eliminate the gender disparities, constraints and challenges faced by women.

4. Action plans were developed with specific activities with available resources and procedures to reduce gender disparities. 5. The monitoring and evaluation plan of the programs with specific measures to track progress were developed. 6. All programs implemented by the ministry have resulted in addressing rural poverty, livelihood security, decent rural employment and food security. 7. All our programs aimed in improved gender equitable access to resources and services. 8. The programs have resulted in improved livelihood opportunities and security for women. 9. Our programs have increased the income of families within its scope. 10. All our programs have resulted in food security in the families within its scope. 11. Implemented programs have contributed to the empowerment of women in the communities. 12. All our programs have identified gender equity and empowerment in terms of Women’s Charter and Domestic violence Prevention Act No. 34 of2005.

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