Women, Work, and the Gig Economy

A collaborative research initiative coordinated by the JustJobs Network (JJN), supported by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) as part of the Future of Work in the Global South (FoWiGS) initiative. This initiative studies how digital platforms can enhance women’s economic empowerment and build gender-inclusive labor markets in the Global South. This cohort of researchers will:

  • Deepen our understanding of the challenges and opportunities that women face in accessing and benefitting from work opportunities through digital platforms;
  • Discover innovations, practices and solutions that platforms may use to create higher-quality, inclusive work, and
  • Collaborate directly with policymakers, online enterprises and workers to scale proven solutions through better design and regulation of labour practices

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Digital Platforms and Women’s Work in Sri Lanka and India

In consultation with digital platforms, civil society and policymakers, this project will assess the ecosystem within which women engage in platform-based work in India and Sri Lanka; it will further investigate how labour regulations, platform business practices, and state policies can support women’s economic empowerment through digital work.

Centre for Policy Research, World Resources Institute India, Indian Institute for Human Settlements, LIRNEasia

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Feminist Approaches to Labour Collectives (Femlab.co): Organizing Digitally in South Asia

Building on an understanding of communicative ecologies of women in informal labour in India and Bangladesh, this project explores how they can leverage digital platforms to contribute to the governance of the future of work, while also using tools such as visual contracts and digital storytelling to support their inclusion into larger conversations on supply chain transparency.

University of Hyderabad, Erasmus University Rotterdam

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Driving Inclusion Through Empowerment and Decent Work: The Case of Filipino Women in Online Work

The Philippines has one of the world’s highest rates of people engaging in online work. This case study aims to fill critical knowledge gaps related to women’s engagement in the digital platform economy, including their motivations and compensation, the challenges they face, and the assistance they need, to prosper in online work.

Philippine Institute for Development Studies

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Opportunities, Costs and Outcomes of Platformized Home-based Work for Women: Case Studies of Cambodia, Myanmar, and Thailand

By assessing women’s opportunities for home-based work on different kinds of digital work platforms in Cambodia, Thailand, and Myanmar, this project examines the economic and empowerment outcomes of such work, and enables cross-country comparisons across different forms of gig work.

JustJobs Network, Centre for Economic and Social Development (Myanmar), Kenan Foundation Asia

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Centering the Agency of Women in Thailand’s Platform-based Care Economy

This project explores precarity and gender-based issues in Thailand’s platform-based care economy. By centring the voices of women workers, this research seeks to strengthen women’s decision-making power in determining the employment and working conditions and contribute to an inclusive future of work.

Just Economy and Labour Institute

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From Bottom-of-the-pyramid to Top of the Platform Value Chain: An Action-research on Developing Inclusive Platform Models for Women Workers in the Global South

Digital platforms in India have emerged as mediators of work opportunities for women in the informal economy. This project will incubate and test the impact of digital platforms that are run by social enterprises or cooperatives, creating space for women in the informal economy to participate in digital work and contribute to developing the terms of their work.

IT for Change

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