Engendering Waste Pickers Cooperatives in Brazil

Sonia M. Dias, Ana Carolina Ogando
  • Publisher: WIEGO

Women waste pickers experience multiple forms of oppression within the sector, despite the invisibility of these specific gender-based vulnerabilities. Based on findings from a research-action project with women waste pickers, this paper maps out the objectives of the participatory project and considers the barriers to gender equality in waste picking. More specifically, it considers how the expressions of gender inequalities within cooperatives and the national movement in Brazil present a contradiction to the very ideals that founded the cooperative movement.

Engendering Waste Pickers Cooperatives in Brazil


In this sense, the discussion seeks to contribute to an understanding of (1) gender relations in the context of waste picking, (2) the impediments to women’s empowerment, (3) how forms of agency emerge in contexts of gender oppression, and (4) how to promote gender-sensitive research-action projects in waste pickers’ cooperatives.

We claim that engendering waste at the national movement of waste pickers can contribute to both strengthening collective action and revitalizing the cooperative movement in this sector.

Informal Economy Theme
Occupational group
Publication Type