About Us

Rookmani Ram Naryan (left) and her daughter, Kavita Harshiresh Yemul

Our Mission

Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO) is a global network dedicated to improving the working conditions of the working poor – especially women – in the informal economy. We strive for equal economic opportunities, rights, protection and voice for all workers.

Today, 61 per cent of the world’s workers earn their living in the informal economy – in jobs and enterprises that are not regulated or protected by the government but that provide critical economic opportunities for the working poor. In these jobs, poverty rates are high and respect for human rights and workers’ rights is low. 

Watch this short explainer on the informal economy:

Since 1997, WIEGO has connected membership-based organizations (MBOs) of workers in the informal economy – including trade unions, cooperatives and worker associations – with researchers, statisticians and development practitioners, to address the concerns of their grass-roots worker base.

WIEGO works to secure fair incomes and safe working environments for workers, and to lower their vulnerability to illness, unemployment and external shocks – like a pandemic or economic crisis – through the implementation of government policies and programmes designed to reduce and prevent these risks. 

WIEGO promotes such change by improving statistics and expanding knowledge on the informal economy, building networks and capacity among worker organizations and offering support to workers as they fight to influence local, national and international policies.

Read more about WIEGO’s mission in our Manifesto.

Top photo: Paula Bronstein/Getty Images Reportage