Gender roles in Sri Lanka

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Sri Lankan woman and child

All ethnic groups in Sri Lanka sometimes have distinctions regarding the roles of the sexes. Sri Lanka was the first nation in the world to elect a female head of state- Srimavo Bandaranaike won the election in 1960 after the preceding leader, her husband,S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike was murdered by a Buddhist monk.

Many Women in Sri Lanka choose to work, whilst some choose to work in the home, and care for children. In families relying on agriculture, women are in charge of weeding and help with the harvest, and, among poor families, women also perform full-time work for the more well-to-do. The man's role used to be seen to provide his family with material support, and in this role men and look after business. At the center of the system are children, who mix freely and receive a great deal of affection from both sexes. Among the middle- and upper-income groups, education of children may last into their early twenties, and women may mix with males or even take on jobs that were in the past reserved for men. For poorer income children, they may go to work earlier.

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 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Library of Congress Country Studies. (Data as of 1988.)

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