The informal economy: women on the front line

Informal employment is on the rise throughout the world, including in developed countries, and is synonymous with lack of protection and serious vulnerability.

Women are discriminated against and edged out of the formal labour market, but are over-represented in the informal economy. On 8 March, International Women’s Day, the ICFTU will be focusing on organising women in the informal economy so that they can gain better rights and become a driving force for trade union recruitment.

Women home workers in the textile industry in Algeria, Brazil or the USA, street vendors in India or Moldova, freelance hairdressers in Ghana, peasant farmers in Peru, domestic child-minders in Croatia and fish-sellers in Chad all have their tale to tell as trade unionists. The fundamental trade union principle of solidarity is at stake, but so is the very survival of the trade union movement worldwide.