Global Resources

Women, gender and the informal economy: An assessment of ILO research and suggested ways forward

Author: S. Chant, C. Pedwell
Publisher: International Labour Organization
Publication Date: Jan 2008

This discussion paper provides an overview of the International Labour Organisation's (ILO) research on women, gender and the informal economy which was undertaken during the last two decades. It examines methodological and analytical frameworks used in various studies, identifies research gaps and proposes directions for future work. It ultimately aims to enhance ILO’s work in developing consistent, coherent and coordinated policy advice to constituents across the four pillars of the ILO Decent Work Agenda: standards and fundamental principles and rights at work, employment, social protection and social dialogue.

This discussion paper is an outcome of two converging initiatives. Firstly, in order to assess the work accomplished by the ILO on Decent Work and women-specific and gender equality topics, an initial mapping exercise on existing research conducted by Headquarters and field offices was undertaken in 2007. The first findings from this mapping exercise were presented at the Workshop “Gender Equality and Decent Work: Towards a Comprehensive Research Strategy” in May 2007.