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Theme: Informal Economy
Occupational Group(s): Small Farmers
By Theune, Schmoo .

Almost 5% of the population of Sri Lanka work in the billion-dollar tea industry ... The cultivation and selling of black tea has shaped the lives of generations of Sri Lankans since 1867. Documentary photographer Schmoo Theune visited plantations in the country to explore the world of Ceylon tea production.

By Haviland, Charles.

Details the difficulties that tea harvesters face, including low wages (despite union negotiations) and rising costs, and the pressures brought to bear by a declining commodity price on the global market.

Mr. Asamoah (Secretary General of the TUC) said although the agriculture sector’s contribution to economy was on a downward trend, it continued to remain the most important source of employment for many people.

India Sun power salts your food twice over India Climate Dialogue . (20 May 2016)
By Dhwani, Dave.

The Grassroots Trading Network for Women (GTNfW), an initiative of the Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), has in the past few years introduced solar pumps in Gujarat to lower production costs. Far from grid-connected electricity, this clean energy option is providing a breakthrough for saltpan farmers, who produce nearly 70% of India’s salt. It is in line with the other work done by SEWA, an organisation of poor, self-employed women workers in the informal economy,

India Everything is Connected The Hindu . (8 May 2016)
By Langa, Mahesh.

In her latest book "Anubandh", noted Gandhian and the force behind the Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), Ela Bhatt, makes an appeal to build holistic and mutually beneficial communities to cater to the basic needs of daily life: food (including water), clothing, education, health, housing, education and banking.

By Mukherjee Parikh, Runa.

India’s premier B-school for strategic marketing and communication, MICA, has decided to join hands with Self Employed Women's Association (Sewa), a trade union for poor, self-employed women workers, for the capacity building of the ‘Master Trainers’ of Sewa.

Women Organising Around the World - Gallery The Guardian . (22 April 2016)

Women in informal work around the world are setting up unions and networks to create more security. NGO Wiego worked with Getty Images and the Hewlett Foundation to capture them.

India Leadership transforming vision into reality The Hans India . (21 April 2016)
By Ramesh, M Anil.

Ela Bhatt is an Indian cooperative organizer and activist who founded the Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA). She was influenced by the fact that thousands of women factory workers worked elsewhere to supplement the family income, but there were state laws protecting only those who were solely industrial workers and not these self-employed women.

India Primark extends program to support women farmers Fibre2Fashion . (9 March 2016)

UK fashion retailer Primark has extended its partnership of the Primark Sustainable Cotton Programme, with the India based Self Employed Women's Association (SEWA) by an additional six years.


The partnership is designed to support women from traditionally male-dominated farming communities in Gujarat, India, to introduce sustainable farming methods, improve cotton yields and increase their incomes.


Set up with agricultural experts, Cottonconnect, and SEWA, the three year pilot trained 1,251 women smallholders resulting in an average profit increase of 211 per cent. - See more at:

India Primark extends India cotton sustainability programme Just-Style . (8 March 2016)
By Russell, Michelle.

Value fashion chain Primark has extended its sustainable cotton program for women in northern India for further six years, with the aim of introducing sustainable farming methods to more females and increasing their incomes. The extension follows a three-year pilot of the program, set up with agricultural experts CottonConnect and the Self Employed Women's Association (SEWA) in traditionally male-dominated faming communities in Gujarat.