The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Mundane heroines: conflict, ethnicity, gender, and female headship in Eastern Sri Lanka

Ruwanpura, K.N. and Humphries, J. (2004) Mundane heroines: conflict, ethnicity, gender, and female headship in Eastern Sri Lanka Feminist Economics, 10, (2), pp. 173-205. (doi:10.1080/1354570042000217766).

Record type: Article


For the last twenty years, eastern Sri Lanka has witnessed a bitter and bloody civil conflict. This paper explores the experience of female-headed households in the region. Only partially the product of war, such households cannot be bundled together as a social problem with a single solution. Our study endorses the feminist suspicion of falsely homogenizing accounts of women's lives and suggests instead an alternative emphasis on the many ways in which gendered relations of dominance and subordination are maintained. With its co-existing Muslim, Tamil, and Sinhala groups, eastern Sri Lanka facilitates the exploration of ethnicity as a source of variation. The households included in this study share a common structure and face the same economic problems, yet ethnic differences divide them. The paper charts the problems, strategies, and partial triumphs of these lone mothers and proposes policies to help them in their mundane but heroic struggle

Full text not available from this repository.

More information

Published date: 25 June 2004
Keywords: Female headship, gender, ethnicity, eastern Sri Lanka, conflict, kinship and community
Organisations: Economy Culture & Space


Local EPrints ID: 69656
ISSN: 1354-5701
PURE UUID: 80698b6b-1402-47a6-9a07-93fc8d2bd2b0

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 25 Nov 2009
Last modified: 19 Jul 2017 00:06

Export record



Author: K.N. Ruwanpura
Author: J. Humphries

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton:

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.