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Informal Economy & WIEGO

Policy Conference on Home-Based Workers in South Asia

Co-Organized by SEWA and UNIFEM

In January 2007, SEWA and UNIFEM hosted a South Asia regional conference entitled “Women, Work, and Poverty” to highlight the situation of home-based workers in South Asia.

Protection for Homeworkers in Thailand

Thai shoemakerHomeNet Thailand and its supportive partners, including WIEGO, played an essential role in winning legislative protection for home-based workers.

Economic Contribution of the Informal Economy

The contribution of economic activities in the informal sector to total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) or Gross Value Added (GVA) provides a key indicator for measuring not only the performance of the informal economy but also the economy as a whole.

Case Studies: Garment Workers Around the Globe

Thai garment workerThe garment industry employs millions of women workers across the world. Conditions are fiercely competitive, with rapid changes in fashion dictating a severe form of just-in-time production. The consequences: low wages, long hours of overtime and greater numbers of industrial outworkers, primarily women.

Waste Pickers' Ongoing Fight for Recognition

Observing Waste Pickers' Day around the world

Recent Achievements

The Global Alliance of Waste Pickers provides a wealth of up-to-date information on waste pickers around the world, their struggles and triumps. Visit

Brazilian waste pickers have fought for and gained recognition in recent months:

Durban/eThekwini, South Africa Informal Economy Policy

In the 1990s, the city of Durban/eThekwini in South Africa established a department dedicated to street trader management and support and allocated resources to infrastructure development for traders.

Social & Legal Protection for the Informal Workforce

In development policy circles, two types of state protection for the informal workforce – especially the working poor – are actively under consideration: social protection and legal rights.

Pakistan's Home-based Workers Build Voice & Visibility

This is one in a series of WIEGO Network impact stories. View all impact stories.

Home-Based worker, Pakistan


Women in India’s Construction Industry

In India, the construction industry is the second largest and a fast growing sector. Transnational companies have been competing in the construction industry since the mid-1990s, engaging in both large public-sector infrastructure projects and private sector industrial projects (Jhabvala and Kanbur 2002).