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The Impact of Displacement on Dowries in Sri Lanka

Research Papers

The Impact of Displacement on Dowries in Sri Lanka

Displacement, whether due to conflict, natural disasters, or development, not only directly and negatively affects those who are displaced, but also can have far-reaching effects for the culture and society as a whole. The objective of this study is to examine the impact of displacement – caused by both the three-decade war between the (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and the government of Sri Lanka and the 2004 tsunami – on Sri Lanka’s dowry systems and the subsequent consequences for women’s livelihoods, family life, and social traditions. Even though there are separate studies on displacement, gender, and dowry systems in Sri Lanka, to the best of our knowledge, there are no studies examining the impact of displacement on dowries in Sri Lanka. This study is an attempt to shed light on this subject.

This study is based on a comprehensive desk review, supplemented by a limited number of interviews. As part of the desk review, the researchers examined the social science literature, including both printed materials and electronic sources. The researchers then consulted a number of academics and practitioners who had expertise on the topic and also conducted face-to-face interviews with four internally displaced families in the country’s Northern and Eastern provinces, three of which were headed by females.

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