Our impact, their voices

Standing her ground

Rural women and girls play a crucial yet often overlooked role in food security, nutrition, rural development, and building climate resilience. Arulrahini began farming four decades ago. From cultivating in the backyard of her home to breaking norms as an independent woman farmer, she shares her journey.

Date issued: 20 October 2021 |
Amongst the agriculture community in the Northern Province of Sri Lanka, farmers like Arulrahini are not the norm but rather the exception. Many women are involved in agriculture with the support of male family members, however their role is limited to physical labour, rarely do they have the freedom to be decision makers. Gender stereotypes and discrimination also mean that women's access to agriculture technology, knowledge, financial services, land ownership, and support services is constrained, requiring them to overcome numerous hurdles.


ILO Sri Lanka's LEED+ (Local Empowerment through Economic Development and Reconciliation) project is working with farmers, farmer cooperatives, and other stakeholders to change this. The LEED+ project is supported by the Government of Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the Government of Norway