Sri Lanka’s care diamond is highly skewed towards families/households and communities. Eighty seven percent of women and 60% of men engage in unpaid domestic work or care work. Women perform 86% of all unpaid work in Sri Lanka and Sri Lankans on average spend 3.7 hours or 15% of a 24-hour day on unpaid domestic and care work.

The paid care work sector is quite small in Sri Lanka. Paid care employees account only for 2-3% of paid employees, 91% of them female. Domestic workers account for one third of paid care. These workers and are mainly from historically disadvantaged communities and work long hours — 54 hours per week on average. Ninety one percent of them are in the private sector, representing market care; only 9 percent of paid care workers are employed by the state.

The value of unpaid housework, care work and voluntary work in Sri Lanka ranges from 10 percent (minimum wage valuation) to 42 percent (generalist wage, upper bound valuation) of the country’s GDP. At the specialist wage, it is 14 percent of GDP. These values represent a considerable share of GDP and are larger than those of the agriculture sector.