The Fourth Pan-Commonwealth Forum on Open Learning (PCF4)
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Uma Coomaraswamy

Life Long Learning for Agricultural Entrepreneurship and Rural Prosperity : Sri Lankan Initiatives on Empowerment of Rural Women through Technology Mediated Open and Distance Learning

Uma Coomaraswamy

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     Last modified: July 28, 2006
     Presentation date: 11/02/2006 11:45 AM in NT Portland B
     (View Schedule)

Agriculture is still the predominant source of employment for rural women in Sri Lanka. Studies of the Open University of Sri Lanka in several districts of the island show that women in agricultural sector are looking forward to stronger interaction with the extension system for building knowledge. These studies also indicate that women’s economic empowerment is relatively weak and sensitisation programmes to counter the influence of gender roles stereotypes that limit women to conventional occupations are yet to be undertaken.

Thus grass roots initiatives to bring together in a consortium approach, villages, a bank, providers of technology, universities and educational institutions providing agricultural and natural resource management programmes, and women’s organisations to address the various dimensions of rural development and poverty reduction has been taken by the Open University of Sri Lanka in collaboration with the Commonwealth of Learning.

Four villages in different agroecological zones have been selected for the pilot project and further work is in progress.

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