Only 10 countries in the world offer full legal protections to women, according to the “Women, Business and the Law 2021” report, published recently by the World Bank. Sri Lanka scores just 65.5 on the index falling behind its neighbors India, the Maldives, and Nepal, and other nations like Saudi Arabia and China. One area where it scores low is assets, partly due to gender differences in land ownership and inheritance.

“There are large gender disparities in access to and control over resources (e.g. land, water and inputs), access to markets and access to skills training, all of which are critical for agricultural production and livelihoods,” writes the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. Only 16 percent of all privately owned land in the country belongs to women, according to the FAO.

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