Informal is the new normal: Why informal employment is here to stay

  • Title: Ford Foundation - Equals Change Blog
  • Name of website: Ford Foundation - Equals Change Blog

This blog, written by Ghada Abdel Tawab, highlights the efforts of WIEGO and the Arab NGO Network for Development (ANND) to challenge the dominant narrative on informal work and suggest alternative approaches to formalizing and protecting informal workers. From the blog:


"Worldwide, millions of people are working to meet their basic daily needs—and doing so without health coverage, social insurance, or access to maternity or sick leave. These informal workers also do not have voice and representation for their interests, lacking the protection and asset of trade unions. While in most of the Global South 'informality' has always been the norm, today the trend is on the rise in more developed and globalized economies, in the form of deregulation, outsourcing, and flex and temp work.


As Marty Chen, co-founder and international coordinator of Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO), puts it, ''In many developing countries, the workforce is overwhelmingly informal—and informal employment is here to stay. What is needed, most fundamentally, is a new economic paradigm: a model of a hybrid economy that embraces the traditional and the modern, the small scale and the big scale, the informal and the formal.'"