Citation: Ogando, Ana Carolina, Sally Roever, and Michael Rogan. 2019. "Gender and informal livelihoods: Coping strategies and perceptions of waste pickers in Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America." International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, 37(7/8).
This article (read the abstract here) was published in a special issue of the International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy. The special issue was focused on "Integrating perspectives in the informal economy." The authors are all part of WIEGO's Urban Policies Programme.
The article is based on an analysis of data collected during WIEGO's Informal Economy Monitoring Study and focuses specifically on waste pickers in Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa. The article examines gender differences in working conditions and coping strategies among a particularly vulnerable group of informal workers. Not surprisingly, the results suggest that working conditions are poor for both women and men but that some of the conventional responses to supporting informal workers (such as improving access to credit) are less relevant in this sector. The authors dig deeper to explore aspects of gender inequalities in this sector which are linked with "symbolic assets" and by considering Kabeer’s notion of the "politics of recognition." Overall, the article highlights some of complexities of gender in a vulnerable segment of the informal economy and demonstrates that policy responses which aim to support or protect these workers should consider some of the more fundamental aspects of disadvantage (such as the lack of recognition and basic safety standards) which are reported by women.