Displaying items 16 - 30 of 42 in total
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    Organising Women Workers in the Informal Economy

    This article focuses on the challenges facing organisation among the hardest-to-reach working women in the informal economy. What gives some of them the impetus and courage to organise? What is distinctive about the strategies they draw on to transcend their structurally disadvantaged position within the economy? What barriers do they continue to face in their efforts to address the injustices of the economic system? Through analysing the organisational strategies used in different contexts and for different sets of workers, we can start to see a different battery of weapons among these working women, which serve them better and more transformatively than the weapons of the weak on which they previously relied: the weapons of the organised. This article discusses these issues specifically in relation to the experience of two organisations: MAP Foundation, Thailand, and KKPKP, Pune India. …

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    Organizing For Life And Livelihoods In The Mountains Of Uttarakhand: The Experience Of Uttarakhand Mahila Parishad

    This chapter shares insights from a place-based, women-centred programme of Uttarakhand Mahila Parishad (Uttarakhand Women’s Federation), a network of around 16,000 rural women in the hill villages of the state of Uttarakhand, in India. There are 465 whole village women’s groups (WVGs) spread over seven districts of the state, which constitute the federation. In particular, Pande highlights the point that the dynamics of local livelihoods is governed by a gender dynamic embedded in the community way of life. However, with increasing awareness about gender issues and with the improving reach of global market forces in villages, this dynamic of community life is changing. …

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    Organizing Women Workers In The Informal Economy: Beyond The Weapons Of The Weak

    Organizing Women Workers in the Informal Economy explores the emergence of an alternative repertoire among women working in the growing informal sectors of the global South: the weapons of organization and mobilisation. This crucial book offers vibrant accounts of how women working as farm workers, sex workers, domestic workers, waste pickers, fisheries workers and migrant factory workers have organized for collective action. What gives these precarious workers the impetus and courage to take up these steps? What resources do they draw on in order to transcend their structurally disadvantaged position within the economy? And what continues to hamper their efforts to gain social recognition for themselves as women, as workers and as citizens? …

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    Paid Work And Pathways To Women's Empowerment: Preliminary Findings From Bangladesh

    There have been a number of debates in Bangladesh, as well as elsewhere, as to whether women's experience of paid work is empowering or simply exploitative. The Bangladesh survey was designed to explore these hypotheses with a view to clarifying a) whether it was primarily the kind of work (pay, location, hours, independence of activity) which might differentiate women's experiences of paid work or whether it was the possibility for new relationships and networks that made the main difference. If the former, we would expect home based work for little pay, carried out on an irregular basis to offer least possibility of empowerment. If the latter, we would expect that it would be women's membership in different kinds of groups and associations, which might encompass home-based microfinance activities, to make the significant difference. …

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    Paid Work, Women's Empowerment And Gender Justice, Pathways Brief 3

    This paper is intended as a contribution to the agenda-setting activities of the Pathways of Women's Empowerment RPC. The paper is concerned with Pathways' theme of empowering work, more specifically with women’s access to paid work and the pathways through which such work might translate into empowerment. This focus on the transformative potential of paid work can be seen as one strand in a broader research agenda on the material dimensions of women's empowerment, an agenda which would also include women's property rights, access to credit, social transfers, skills training and other kinds of economic resources. However, different resources have their own forms of materiality in that the changes associated with them are likely to take concrete shape through somewhat different pathways in women's lives. …

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    Paid Work, Women's Empowerment And Gender Justice, Pathways Working Paper 3

    This paper explores the contradictions and contestations that characterize debates about the relationship between paid work and women’s empowerment. It suggests that this absence of consensus appears to reflect differences of context. It reflects other factors as well. It reflects changes in the social meaning of work over time. …

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    Paid Work, Women's Empowerment and Inclusive Growth: Transforming the Structures of Constraint

    Drawing on household survey data collected in Egypt, Ghana and Bangladesh as part of the Pathways of Women’s Empowerment Research Partners’ Consortium, this report provides insights into the ‘resource’ pathways that enhance women’s agency and thereby contribute to the inclusiveness of the economic growth process. Moreover, it looks at the the extent to which the structure of economic opportunities, generated by a country’s growth strategies, translated into positive impacts on women’s lives in these three country contexts.  …

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    Power At The Bottom Of The Heap: Organizing Waste Pickers In Pune

    In several respects, waste pickers pose challenges to organizing: they are physically dispersed, have no employer, many work long hours, and they are socially shunned. Yet Kagad Kach Patra Kashtakari Panchayat (KKPKP), a waste pickers’ trade union has for nearly twenty years sustained a vibrant organization which has made tangible material and social gains on behalf of its membership. Its offspring, SWaCH (Solid Waste Collection and Handling), is growing in strength as a model for the new face of solid waste management in India; one which has put the interests of a very marginalized constituency of waste pickers in retaining access to waste as its top priority. This chapter highlights some aspects of its approach and strategies which have contributed to this progress. …

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    Sex, Work And Citizenship: The VAMP Sex Workers' Collective In Maharashtra

    This chapter explores the evolution of The Veshya Anyay Mukti Parishad (VAMP) collective. VAMP is a sex-worker led organization born in 1996 in the context of a growing HIV/AIDS movement which has generally taken an instrumental approach to sex workers. In contrast to many sex worker organisations emerging around that time, VAMP took an explicitly rights-based approach from the outset. It aimed to forge and consolidate a common identity among women in sex work which could empower them to articulate and assert their full range of rights as well as protect themselves from HIV infection. …

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    Sex Work And Its Linkages With Informal Labour Markets In India, IDS Working Paper 416

    Based on the results of the First Pan-India Survey of Female Sex Workers (n=3000), this paper positions sex work within the broader spectrum of informal labour markets that women engage with in India. It puts forth an important dimension missing so far in sex work studies in India – of sex workers with prior or simultaneous labour market work experience. Informal labour markets act as important sites/junctures linking poverty with sex work. For a substantial proportion of respondents, sex work was not their first experience of paid work. …

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    The Challenge Of Organizing Domestic Workers In Bangalore: Caste, Gender And Employer-Employee Relations In The Informal Economy

    Organizing domestic workers has been tried in many ways, in large part because there is so much heterogeneity within the sector. It is a sector where employer-employee relationships are very dynamic, flexible and arbitrary; domestic workers are often hard to reach, spending most of their time in the ‘private’ sphere of the home; and in some contexts, the non-monetary aspects of agreements between employers and workers may have particular significance. These are some of the many challenges to organizing. This chapter discusses the situation of domestic workers in Bangalore and the experience of Stree Jagruti Samiti, a women’s organization inspired by the women’s movement of the 1970s, in initiating and building the Karnataka Domestic Workers’ Union (KDWU), including the many challenges it has faced. …

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    The Under Reporting Of Women’s Economic Activity In Bangladesh: An Examination Of Official Statistics. BDI 1

    In Bangladesh women are engaged in a variety of economic activities ranging from homestead based expenditure saving activities to outside paid work. However, women's work always remains under reported, especially women’s non‐market homestead based economic activities. Under reporting is particularly critical in the case of official statistics. The types of work women are involved in are often overlooked by women themselves. …

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    Understanding The Dynamics Of An NGO/MBO Partnership: Organizing And Working With Farm Women In South Africa

    This chapter is concerned with addressing the power dynamics and inequalities in the relationship between a South African non-government organization (NGO), Women on Farms Project (WFP) and the membership-based organization (MBO), Sikhula Sonke, which it established. In particular, it focuses on the genesis and evolution of the relationship and how unanticipated and initially unarticulated tensions led to a shift in power and a new phase in the relationship between the two organisations. The first section provides a short background to WFP, including the key discourses which have informed the understanding and approach of WFP’s work with farmwomen. The next section then outlines the contextual conditions of farmwomen in post-apartheid South Africa which led to WFP forming Sikhula Sonke. …

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    Understanding The Results Of The Working Women's Characteristics Survey, GTZ Network of Women's Organisations

    This paper is meant to inform the NWRO on the link between characteristics of work, domestic violence, and personal status as a platform for addressing the gaps in policy that leave women vulnerable. This paper looks at the results of the Working Women’s Characteristics Survey (WWCS) that was carried out as part of the “Understanding Women’s Work and its Empowering Potentials in their Everyday Life” project by researchers Hania Sholkamy and Ragui Assaad. The WWCS looks empirically, for the first time in Egypt, at the relationship between labour-market participation for women and different empowerment indicators, asking whether work is empowering for women in Egypt. Assuming an inextricable link between women’s work and their private lives, the WWCS looks at engagement in different types of labour-market participation, namely formal, informal and from-home employment, in relation to various empowerment indicators that reflect on women’s access to resources, and their agency within the home and outside of it. …

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    Women And Paid Work In Pakistan

    This chapter offers an analysis of women and paid work with a view to identifying where there are changes underway in this area that may play a role in leading to equitable gender relations in Pakistan in the long term. The discussion is based on existing research on the subject, which comes from a variety of disciplines. Much of the research that will be discussed below is preliminary and based on micro-studies, or on larger quantitative surveys that may have ignored some of the diversity within the country. Women in Pakistan live in a society that is highly stratified according to class, caste, region and cultural variations, all of which have implications for their lives and opportunities. …