Eager to bring a social


The limited participation of women in economic activities is also a bottle-neck to community resilience and socio-economic development. This particularly so, given that women are more likely than men to reinvest their incomes in their children and in new income- generating activities.

Social Cohesion
All OPEnE staff are from the war-torn Mannar district. they have limited exposure to practical training, academic reflection and positive role models of multiculturalism outside their own communities. Staff have their own challenges in understanding the complexities of gender,caste and religion and in appreciating how to manage conflicts that arise due to such issues.
OPEnE wants to foster better, even personal, relationships that could assist in promoting social cohesion in Mannar.
The perceived inequality in access to justice and resources is noted in minority communities putting their faith on the judicial system to resolve interreligious resource conflicts than on the Mannar Inter-religious Forum, in which all religions are members. This tension is an impediment for collective action for socio-economic development in Mannar.
More than a decade into Sri Lanka's reconciliation process, social cohesion remains weak both nationally and locally. Sri Lanka has the 14th largest gender gap in labour force participation in the world: Male dominated state structures and deeply patriarchal gender roles prevent women from participating fully in the labor-force . This particularly true for the fishing community in Mannar, where women who are eager to work are subjected instead to second class treatment are deprived of income -generating opportunities. The lack of income, social capital, and opportunities to learn new skills increase the dependence of women on others, reduces their bargaining power, injures their sense of self-worth and increase their vulnerability to gender based violence and other such harm.