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A new World Bank study on women’s employment and entrepreneurship has found that discrimination against females in Sri Lanka persists although it is not as bad as in other south Asian economies.

“Legal discrimination, which can affect female labor force participation, is also prevalent in Sri Lanka,” said the World Bank Group’s Women, Business and the Law 2016 report.

Women are prohibited from working in the mining sector and restricted from certain tasks and functions in factories, it said.
It also said there are no laws against gender-based discrimination in hiring or access to credit.

The report measures how laws, regulations and institutions differentiate between women and men in ways that may affect women’s incentives or capacity to work or to set up and operate a business.

Several economies from the South Asia region are “among the most restrictive in the world” where women’s entrepreneurship and employment are concerned, the report said.

“The region as a whole has been lagging in enacting reforms in the areas measured by the report, with only three reforms made in two economies in the past two years.”