Very interesting discussion you started, Chulie. I will stick to the question asked till that question is finally answered and then I may go meandering with the other points raised by others. The question asked was "So are we Sri Lankan women more prosperous and hold more equal position at the workplace than the Sheila’s in Oz?" Chulie: these statistics don’t tell the whole story Ranjit: agree with Pala's point to an extent but I'm somewhat reticent to label the jobs that majority of women hold in the workforce in SL as "poverty based" for the simple reason that it's a harsh characterisation of what they do to keep the home fires burning. Pala: So you see, we have got into a debate about the "harshness" of calling the Sri Lankan women's' jobs "poverty based," "this report does not tell the whole story "etc etc . So let me repeat, the answer that is being sought is YES or NO to the question "are we Sri Lankan women more prosperous and hold more equal position at the workplace than the Sheila’s in Oz?" My answer is NO what is yours? I get the feeling that all your contributors accept that the majority of the women in SL labour force are poor (but it is not PC to call them so). Chulie, you may enlighten us with a definition of who is poor in World Bank terms ($ earnings per day or calorie intake per day etc) in Sri Lanka and who is poor in Australia in WB terms. You may see the answer to your original question in those numbers. Without the Global Gender Gap Index and without any stats from WB I stick with my conclusion which is based on my own travels and observations that the Sri Lankan women in the labour force are much worse off than those in Oz. Tea is based on poverty, garments are based on poverty, ME labour is based on poverty. Think about it, the day Sri Lanka achives a GDP per capita viz 1/2 that of Singapore ($37600 -WB) there will be no one in SL to pluck tea, stitch garments or to go into "slavery" in the ME. We must work towards that goal with the right distibution of GDP.