Dear WIEGO Family and Friends,
Twenty-five years ago today — on 18 April 1997 — WIEGO’s founders embarked on a journey to support women workers in the informal economy.
In the words of Ela Bhatt, Founder of SEWA and Founding Chair of WIEGO, as she reflected on the founding meeting all those years ago:
There was a general agreement on the overall goal being to secure sustainable livelihoods for informal workers and to channel power and resources to the workers through their organizations.
Maintaining this focus has been key to WIEGO’s success since. Together with our members and partners in the global movement, WIEGO has improved statistical measurement of the size, composition and contribution of the informal economy; increased understanding of the working conditions, constraints, risks and demands of specific groups of workers in informal employment; and grown the power of workers to effectively demand appropriate and more equitable policies, laws and regulations.
We have also contributed to the creation of global networks in order to help build a stronger, united voice: the International Domestic Workers Federation for domestic workers, StreetNet International for street vendors and market traders, and HomeNet International for home-based workers. At present, we are also contributing to the establishment of a global network of waste pickers. The movement is more visible now than ever before.
Please join us in a year-long celebration of our members, board, team, founders and partners with whom we have reached this milestone together, working through triumph and tragedy. You can celebrate with us by sharing a message or your favourite stories, anecdotes or photographs of WIEGO by tagging @WIEGOGlobal and using the hashtag #WIEGOat25 on Twitter and Facebook.
Please continue to visit our website – www.wiego.org – for special 25th Anniversary stories, which will be posted throughout the year.
You can also trace WIEGO’s history on a timeline specially created to celebrate our biggest milestones of the past 25 years. The timeline is at the end of this post.
It is a great privilege to serve this organization, network and movement. I am grateful for, and humbled by, your contributions to WIEGO over the years. Here’s to many more.
In solidarity, always,
WIEGO International Coordinator