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The destruction of social frameworks by war allows women to participate in arenas from which they are traditionally excluded. This contributes to women’s empowerment, if the women concerned are aware of the changes and want them to survive post-war. Community Aid Abroad (CAA) has been working with people displaced by conflict in eastern Sri Lanka. Kasynathan examines how the women took responsibility for receiving agricultural loans and selling produce, and then took over control of the CAA programme. Such an example shows how development work can be a valid response to the effects of conflict.

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