Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing
A newsletter covering the highlights and progress of the WIEGO Network in promoting secure informal livelihoods through policy interventions and stronger organizations.
July 2015


In This Issue
Stay Connected!

Like us on Facebook   Follow us on Twitter   View our profile on LinkedIn   Find us on Pinterest
Delegation Returns from 2015 ILC
with Landmark Standard for Informal Workers

WIEGO Delegates at ILC 2015
A delegation from the WIEGO Network has once again made their presence felt at the International Labour Conference in Geneva from 1-13 June 2015.

This was the second part of a two-year standard setting process on the Transition from the Informal to the Formal Economy at the International Labour Conference 2015 in Geneva, Switzerland. On 12 June, Recommendation 204 was adopted - the first-ever international labour standard specifically for the informal economy.

In 2014 and 2015, WIEGO helped coordinate a group of informal workers, organizers, and supporters at the ILC (this year 32 were fully or partially supported by WIEGO), who worked with trade union allies to ensure informal workers' voices were hear and included.

The Recommendation contains many provisions supportive of informal workers. The task now is to ensure its implementation.

For more information visit WIEGO's ILC event page
Read Rethinking Formalization: The WIEGO Perspective.
Read Myths and Facts about the Informal Economy and Workers in the Informal Economy.
Watch this video of Suman More, a waste picker from Pune, India, speak at the ILC.
Video of Waste Picker Participating in a Panel Discussion

Sector Updates
WIEGO works to empower informal workers and improve livelihoods in four key sectors: home-based workers, street vendors, waste pickers, and domestic workers.

Home-Based Workers
Home-Based Workers Celebrate Historic Delhi Declaration
"The global declaration is most important. We must use this with home-based workers and governments. This means we will speak with one voice and use it to be visible."
 - Home-based worker attendee
Celebration at Home-Based Workers Global Conference

Home-based workers from 24 countries met in Delhi, India, in January 2015 for a landmark solidarity-building event, which culminated in the historic drafting of the Delhi Declaration - the first global declaration of its kind for home-based workers. During the event, co-organized by WIEGO and HomeNet South Asia (HNSA), home-based worker groups exchanged experiences and collaborated on issues ranging from improving wages to better housing and basic services to social protection. The group also developed a five-year global Action Plan, which sets out local, national, and global targets.

Read more about the Global Conference on Home-based Workers event.

Street Vendors
Street Vendors Win Landmark Legal Victory in Durban, South Africa
In 2014, the Legal Resources Center of Durban at the request of, and with support from, Asiye eTafuleni (AeT) - a Durban-based NGO - and WIEGO filed another successful case against the Durban/eThekwini municipality. The two earlier successful cases were against the city's plans to build a mall at the site of a natural market of 6,000 - 7,000 street vendors. This time the goal was to challenge the power of the municipality to confiscate and impound goods of street vendors. John Makwickana, a shoe seller in Warwick Junction and deputy president of Masibambisane Traders Association, filed the case after his goods were confiscated unjustly.
John, Street Vendor in Durban
John Makwicana after the February 2015 High Court landmark ruling in Durban. Photo: Tasmi Quazi

In the court, the Legal Resources Centre lawyer argued that the provisions in the eThekwini Municipality's Street Trading Bylaws, which authorize confiscations, are in conflict with the constitutional right to equality, the right to choose one's trade or occupation, the right to property and the right of access to courts. The presiding judge agreed-and the victory could have ripple effects for street vendors across the globe.

Read more about John's story and this precedent-setting judgment.

Waste Pickers
Toolkit and Conference Tackle Gender Issues Among Waste Pickers
In 2012, the Latin American Waste Pickers' Network (Red Lacre), the National Movement of Waste Pickers in Brazil (MNCR), and WIEGO opened a dialogue about gender in the context of waste picking for informal recycling. Women waste pickers in Latin America had asked for help in bringing gender issues to light within their organizations. Sonia Dias, WIEGO's Waste Picker Sector Specialist based in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, started a pilot project in Minas Gerais State of Brazil in collaboration with Red Lacre, MNCR, and the Center for Study and Research on Women of the Federal University of Minas Gerais. The project was designed to address gender inequality in three domains of women waste pickers' lives: at home, at work, and in the waste pickers' organizations they belong to. The project design built on the expressed needs of women waste pickers and included four educational workshops and the development of a toolkit for women waste pickers, their organizations, support NGOs, and local government institutions.
Gender and Waste Project
In April 2015, Sonia Dias organized a regional workshop with waste pickers, men and women, from four Latin American countries. The workshop provided opportunities for sharing and reflection with the hopes that the Gender and Waste Project might be replicated in other countries. Several women waste pickers recounted how they had experienced and overcome gender violence. Many of the participants, both men and women, found the workshop to be an eye-opening experience, including Matilde Ramos, a waste picker from San Paolo, Brazil. Matilde spoke at the April 2015 workshop: "When we look at the associations, the majority are women. We had men from the state leadership. We needed a sector to discuss women's issues and needed a state secretariat. When we have a man involved, women don`t feel comfortable to discuss violence."

Read more about the Gender and Waste Project.
For the story of Matilde, watch this video:

Domestic Workers
WIEGO Supports Two Strategy Workshops of the IDWF
The International Domestic Workers' Federation (IDWF) is the first global union organization run by women. Since 2008, WIEGO and the International Union of Food and Allied Workers (IUF), the global union federation responsible for domestic workers, have worked together to help create and strengthen the Federation and to support the successful campaign for the Decent Work for Domestic Workers Convention (C189). Both WIEGO and IUF continue to provide financial, technical, and other support to IDWF. During the first quarter of 2015, WIEGO supported two workshops organized by IDWF.

In February in Hong Kong, IDWF ran a Strategic Planning Workshop with leaders of the Federation and representatives from strategic partner organizations. Pauline Conley, from WIEGO's Global Projects support team, helped IDWF workshop participants draft a five-year strategic plan by facilitating planning sessions at the workshop and finalizing the draft plan after the workshop. The strategic plan includes a narrative, logic model, performance measurement framework, risk register, operational plan, and an activity-based budget covering the period from January 2016 to December 2020.

In March in Singapore, IDWF ran a Database and Communication Workshop for leaders from its affiliate members. Prior to the workshop, at the request of IDWF, three WIEGO research team members - Marty Chen (International Coordinator), Françoise Carré (Research Coordinator) and Sally Roever (Urban Policies Director) - met at the WIEGO Secretariat at Harvard University to draft a database template for IDWF and its affiliates to track membership over time: both individual domestic worker members of the affiliates and the organizations which are affiliated members of IDWF. At the workshop, Lin Lim of the WIEGO Board facilitated the discussion of the draft database, helping IDWF affiliates specify what information they already collected and what additional information they wanted to collect and for what purpose.

After the workshop, at the WIEGO Secretariat, Marty Chen and Francoise Carré met with Jill Shenker of IDWF and the National Domestic Workers Alliance of the USA to discuss outcomes of the Singapore workshop, clarify the future roles of IDWF and WIEGO in regard to the database, and create a work plan. Going forward, IDWF will hire a database developer to implement the plans and WIEGO will continue to help with the template content of the database and advise on what online programme/platform IDWF might use.

Watch how domestic workers came together to fight for C189:
WIEGO's Core Programmes
Our work centres around Organization & Representation, Statistics, Global Trade, Social Protection, and Urban Policies.

WIEGO Participates in Two ILO Working Group Meetings
WIEGO's Statistics Programme continues to bring visibility to workers in the informal economy by collaborating with the International Labour Organization (ILO) and national statisticians to improve statistics on informal workers and to make these accessible to groups using these statistics.

WIEGO was invited by the ILO to be a member of the Working Group for the Revision of the International Classification of Status in Employment (ICSE-93). The ICSE-one of the three main international classifications used in employment statistics-concerns the risk and autonomy in employment arrangements. Many categories of informal employment do not fit easily in the present classification: for example, casual day labourers, sub-contracted homeworkers and the many types of dependent contract workers. Françoise Carré, Rodrigo Negrete, and Joann Vanek prepared a paper on the issues involved, "Consideration for Revision of the ICSE-93", and participated in the first meeting of the Working Group in Geneva in early May 2015.

Informal workers were a focus of the new UN Women's publication, Progress of the World's Women 2015-2016: Transforming Economies, Realizing Rights. Joann Vanek was on the Expert Advisory Group for the publication. In addition, Sally Roever and Martha Chen contributed a background paper, "Making Women's Self-Employment More Visible", and Francie Lund and Laura Alfers contributed information on improving health and safety for informal workers-both of which were used in the publication. The publication was launched in several cities on 27 April 2015, including at the Ford Foundation in New York. Myrtle Witbooi, the President of the International Domestic Workers Federation (IDWF), was a featured speaker at the New York launch.

WIEGO was also invited by the ILO to attend a Tri-partite Meeting of Experts on Non-standard Forms of Employment (Geneva, February 16-19, 2015). The purpose of this meeting was to support national studies on the possible positive and negative impacts of non-standard forms of employment on fundamental principles and rights at work and identify and share best practices on their regulation. These activities will contribute to preparations for the recurrent item on social protection (labour protection), to be held at the 104th Session of the Conference in 2015. In this meeting and a side meeting, WIEGO's role was to provide background information on non-standard forms of employment in developed countries. In developed countries, several non-standard forms of employment display some of the characteristics of informal employment, such as no or reduced access to employment-based social protection.

Read "Six Myths about Informal Economy Statistics" on the WIEGO Blog.

Global Trade
Leadership Training Materials Pilot Tested in Uganda and Kenya
Our Global Trade Programme is coordinating part of a WIEGO Global Project that aims to assist working poor women employed in the informal economy to gain economic self-reliance and increase their participation in advocacy, governance, and management. The Global Trade component is focused on Developing Leadership and Business Skills for Informal Workers in Fair Trade, and one of the key outputs is a package of training materials. Women need training in leadership skills in order to gain the confidence to assume leadership positions and run democratic and accountable organizations, and in business skills to run productive and effective trading entities.

The training materials were developed in consultation with project partners in Ghana, Kenya, and Uganda. They were piloted in the field in Uganda and Kenya in March and April 2015, respectively. The approach is a training of trainers (TOT) methodology, whereby facilitators are trained to then go and train women from participating groups: 27 in Uganda and 30 in Kenya. For the piloting, a selected number of the facilitators attended a TOT. In one day, 60 women group members were trained in Uganda.

Read a Q&A with WIEGO's Global Trade Programme Director Elaine Jones on the WIEGO Blog.

Social Protection
Exploring Health Needs of Informal Workers 
Health care needs of informal workers
Over the last six months, the Social Protection Programme has been focusing in on the health of informal workers. Between September 2014 and February 2015, WIEGO worked with Asiye eTafuleni in South Africa, SEWA in India, and HomeNet Thailand on the Rockefeller Foundation's Informal Workers Health Project (IWHP). The IWHP was an exploratory project aimed at thinking through the ways in which informal workers can better access health services. Each partner in the project was asked to develop a model (or prototype) for making health services more accessible. One highlight of the project was the making of a short documentary, which highlights the barriers informal workers face in accessing health services (including occupational health services), and showcases the work of SEWA, HomeNet Thailand, and Asiye eTafuleni in trying to lower those barriers. Drawing on lessons learned over many years by SEWA, HomeNet Thailand, and WIEGO, Marty Chen and Francie Lund wrote a policy paper for the Asian Development Bank on health care and informal workers in Asia.

Focusing on Occupational Health & Safety and Child Care Services
WIEGO has also continued to work on the topic of occupational health & safety (OHS) with partners in Brazil, India, Peru, and South Africa. A trade union of waste pickers in Pune, India, Kagad Kach Patra Kashtakari Panchayat (KKPKP), has recently completed a small survey on the health status of its waste picker members. In Lima, Peru, traders and porters in the Wholesale Market developed a map of hazards and risks, which they intend to present to the municipality.

WIEGO also facilitated a visit to Brazil for six SEWA community health workers from India.The SEWA visitors were hosted by Vilma Santana of the Federal University of Brazil. The SEWA workers were there to learn about the ways in which Brazil has successfully integrated OHS into its system of free primary health care services. In Durban, South Africa, the Phephanathi (Be Safe With Us) Project, a collaboration with Asiye eTafuleni, recently concluded a series of health diagnostic camps for over 300 traders in the Warwick Junction markets.

WIEGO has also continued to work on a Child Care and Informal Workers project. WIEGO has completed three reports on the relationship between access to child care services and women's ability to earn an income, a topic on which more research is needed. In June 2015, WIEGO held a workshop with interested partners on the feasibility of launching a campaign around improving access to child care services for informal workers.

Urban Policies
Informal Workers' Call for Inclusion in the Global Urban Agenda
Marketplace in Durban, South Africa
In April 2015, WIEGO hosted and supported a delegation at UN-Habitat's Second Preparatory Committee (PrepCom2) for Habitat III held in Nairobi, Kenya. The Delegation included three street vendor leaders (two from Kenya and one from Ghana), a home-based worker leader from Peru, three WIEGO team members, and an urban scholar who serves as an advisor to WIEGO. In side event presentations and in interactions with PrepCom 2 participants, the WIEGO Delegation shared information on how informal workers contribute to cities and how city policies impact (often negatively) informal livelihoods. WIEGO's goal is to ensure that informal livelihoods are integrated into the agenda for Habitat III.

Read about the PrepCom2 meeting and the importance of including voices of informal workers on WIEGO's blog.

Special Initiatives
Collaboration Begins on Technology and the Future of Work
In February 2015, Practical Action and WIEGO began a collaborative one-year project funded by the Rockefeller Foundation titled, Technology & the Future of Work. The exploratory research project will study the impact of technology on informal workers in five cities. Each partner will undertake research in three cities: Practical Action will lead the research in Dhaka, Bangladesh, and Nairobi, Kenya, while WIEGO will lead research in Ahmedabad, India (in partnership with SEWA Academy), and Durban, South Africa (in partnership with Asiye eTafuleni). In Lima, Peru, the fifth city, WIEGO and Practical Action will undertake parallel research.

Technology access and use is often pointed to as a means of achieving development, improving incomes and attaining sustainable well-being. A common assumption is that technology improves peoples' lives and incomes through less human effort and drudgery and increased productivity, often at lower cost and with fewer resources. However, technology can also exacerbate existing vulnerabilities, create new risks, and undermine the coping mechanisms of poor people. For example, in the recent WIEGO-coordinated Informal Economy Monitoring Study (IEMS), home-based workers in Ahmedabad, India, cited lack of access to, or displacement by, new technology as one of the main negative dynamics in the value chains they work in. Similarly, the IEMS study found that that changes in city transport technology systems (i.e. development of bus rapid transit systems or electric trains) in Ahmedabad and Lima, Peru, had, or were slated to have, displaced thousands of vendors from their work sites. In short, the introduction of and/or change in technology tools and systems can generate winners and losers across cities and countries, along value chains, and across work sectors in the formal and informal economy.
WIEGO Website Gets a New Look & Spanish Website Launches
WIEGO's new home page

WIEGO's website has a new look! The site continues to be an active centre for WIEGO's knowledge and resources, and the new layout and design makes navigating WIEGO's rich content intuitive and easy. Check out weekly highlights featured on the homepage or peruse our latest publications or news on informal workers.

In addition, WIEGO's Spanish website is now live and can be visited at espanol.wiego.org. The Spanish website includes a rich knowledge base on the informal economy and the collection of WIEGO publications in Spanish, and underscores the work WIEGO is doing through social media and the Global Monitoring System (GMS), a news curation service. More importantly, the Spanish website raises WIEGO's profile in Latin America by highlighting the work that is underway in the region through image-rich pages that act as hubs offering readers easy access to country/project's specific initiatives, related publications, and research, events, and updates.

WIEGO Blog Launches
WIEGO is excited to announce the launch of the WIEGO blog (www.wiego.org/blogs), a dynamic and engaging platform for profiling our work, expertise, and impact in a timely fashion. There are nine main topic areas-Cities, Economy, Global Advocacy, Law, Livelihoods, Workers' Health, Organizing, Profiles, and Statistics-which will continually be populated with engaging articles, interviews, photo essays, and more.
New Publications, Resources and Event Reports
The following WIEGO publications and resources were posted between November 2014 and June 2015. You can search more than 3,200 publications and resources on WIEGO's website.

Working Paper
Samson, Melanie. 2015. Forging a New Conceptualization of "The Public" in Waste Management. WIEGO Working Paper 32.

Legal Brief
Corrarino, Megan. 2014. Using International Law and Regional Legal Systems and Rights Documents in Advocacy for Workers in the Informal Economy. WIEGO Legal Brief No. 4.

Stastical Briefs
Mehran, Farhad. 2014. Measurement of Employment-Related Income: Concepts, Data Sources and a Test of Methods. WIEGO Statistical Brief No. 13.

Technical Briefs
Nohn, Matthias and Bijal Brahm Bhatt. 2014. How to Assess Security of Tenure and Emulate Mortgages for Financing Semi-Formal Homes: Lessons from Mahila Housing SEWA Trust. WIEGO Technical Brief No. 8.

Parra, Federico. 2014. Reciclaje: ¡Sí, pero con recicladores!. Nota técnica de WIEGO No. 9.

Informal Economy Monitoring Study
Naqeeb, Dr. Bilal, Rubina Saigol, and Ume-Laila Azhar. Informal Economy Monitoring Study: Home-based Workers in Lahore, Pakistan.
Executive Summary Home-based Workers in Lahore, Pakistan
Resumen ejecutivo Trabajadoras a domicilio en Lahore, Pakistán
Sumário Executivo Trabalhadores Domiciliares em Lahore, Paquistão

Chikarmane, Poornima. Informal Economy Monitoring Study: Waste Pickers in Pune, India 
Executive Summary Waste Pickers in Pune, India
Resumen ejecutivo Recicladores en Pune, India
Sumário Executivo Catadores e Catadoras em Pune, na Índia

Bonner, Christine and Martha Chen, Sonia Dias, Karin Pape, Sally Roever, Shalini Sinha, Caroline Skinner, and Elizabeth Tang. 2015. Myths & Facts about the Informal Economy and Workers in the Informal Economy. WIEGO Resources.

Bonner, Christine and Martha Chen, Sonia Dias, Karin Pape, Sally Roever, Shalini Sinha, Caroline Skinner et Elizabeth Tang. 2015. Mythes et réalités sur l'économie informelle et ses travailleurs. WIEGO Resources.

Bonner, Christine and Martha Chen, Sonia Dias, Karin Pape, Sally Roever, Shalini Sinha, Caroline Skinner y Elizabeth Tang. 2015. Mitos y realidades sobre la economía informal y las trabajadoras y los trabajadores que laboran en ella. WIEGO Resources.

Sinha, Shalini. 2015. Myths & Facts About Home-Based Workers. WIEGO Resources.

Developing Leadership and Business Skills for Informal Women Workers in Fair Trade. WIEGO Resources.

Desarrollando Habilidades Comerciales y de Liderazgo para las Trabajadoras Informales del Comercio Justo. WIEGO Resources.

Développer le Leadership et les Compétences en Affaires chez les Travailleuses Informelles du Commerce Équitable. WIEGO Resources.

Focusing Resources and Activities for Larger Impact: WIEGO's Focal Cities Work in Lima. WIEGO Resources.

Focalizando Recursos y Actividades para Lograr Mayor Impacto: El Trabajo de Ciudades Focales de WIEGO en Lima. WIEGO Resources.

Concentrer les Ressources et les Activités pour Avoir plus D'impact: Le Travail de WIEGO dans la Ville de Lima. WIEGO Resources.

Gender & Waste: Rethinking Relations for Empowerment. WIEGO Resources.

Género y Residuos: Reformulando las Relaciones para el Empoderamiento. WIEGO Resources.

Gênero e Lixo: Repensando Relações de Empoderamento. WIEGO Resources.

Genre et Déchets: Repenser les Relations vers L'autonomisation. WIEGO Resources.

Informality and Illegality: Unpacking the Relationship. WIEGO Resources.

Workers' Stories
Carré, Françoise. June 2014. Location, Location, Location: The Life of a Refugee Street Barber in Durban, South Africa. WIEGO Workers' Lives No 5.

Vryenhoek, Leslie. August 2014. Gaining Ground: The Cooperative Life of a Smallholder in Uganda. WIEGO Workers' Lives No. 6.

Health Access for Informal Workers: Workers' Health Profiles. Developed as part of the Rockefeller Informal Workers' Health initiative.

Event Reports
Global Conference on Home-based Workers, 8-11 February 2015, Delhi, India. WIEGO General Assembly, 11-13 November 2014, Yogyakarta, Indonesia.