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Sri Lanka

Recycling Paper Project helps women in Sri Lanka generate a livelihood

October 2013 │ Sri Lanka

Domestic violence is a common and accute social issue in Sri Lanka. Authorities claim that only a fraction of domestic violence incidents are made public and reported for corrective action. The victims sometimes are forced to suppress their agony due to social stigma, fear and the extra commitment some people have towards relationships. Women are mostly vulnerable to domestic violence and consequently, affect their children as well.

In many cases, the culprits are the breadwinners, who use violence as a power to control the victims. Institutions working towards prevention of domestic violence have observed an interesting commonality where they have found more than 95% of the reported victims as full dependants. In other words, the victims do not engage in gainful employment. 

Therefore, generating a livelihood, particularly for married women has become pivotal to counter this pertinent social issue. On one hand, an income can improve their economic status; on the other hand it helps them to gain some respect from the offenders, thereby reducing further victimisation.

Deutsche Bank AG, Sri Lanka together with Women In Need (WIN), an institution incorporated to help women facing various issues and difficulties agreed to work towards a project to enhance livelihood of 15 females who are currently subject to domestic violence in the southern coastal area of Sri Lanka. Though the current involvement is limited to 15, a good demand for end products could gradually increase the number of beneficiaries. 

The Bank invested in the machinery required to startup the project, where the machinery was to be maintained by 15 women. Besides the main intent to eliminate domestic violence, the project brings multiple societal benefits where it addresses environmental sustainability, building social capital, women empowerment, and more importantly is a sustainable project in terms of project continuity. Women in Need are providing the skills development support, premises and controls to hold the project together. 

The recycle paper project work was declared open by the Corporate Responsibility committee of Deutsche Bank AG, Sri Lanka, where four committee members attended the handing over ceremony held on November 9, 2013 in Matara, Sri Lanka.     

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Last Update: December 3, 2013
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