Women’s economic relations in post-war Sri Lanka: the case of beedi rollers in Vettikadu


Type: Briefing Paper

Organisation: CEPA

Country: Sri Lanka

Date: 06/09/2018

Full summary

This policy brief is based on the working paper titled ‘The political economy of violence: Women’s economic relations in post-war Sri Lanka’ and focuses  on women’s engagement in beedi rolling, in a village in Jaffna. It attempts to understand the women’s continued engagement in a very precarious working environment as well as the alternative income generating opportunities available to them in the transition from a period of war to no-war.




This study highlights the lack of control these women in Vettikadu have over their economic and spatial lives. The result is that they must choose between the danger of working outside or working inside the relative safety of the village, through engaging in beedi rolling or other home-based activities.


  • Carry out awareness campaigns with regard to the health hazards associated with beedi rolling;
  • Provide skills training for the women currently engaged in beedi rolling to seek alternate income generating opportunities;
  • Carry out a sustained campaign to encourage continued education for the children.