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The Hidden Economics of Remarkable Women (HERO) Made possible through funding form the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Why Are There so Many Women Informal Workers in India?

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Deepa, an Indian domestic worker
Deepa, an Indian domestic worker
A photo of Deepa, a domestic worker and member of the Self Employed Women's Association, a group with more than 1.5 million women informal worker members in India.

Despite India’s rapid growth in the last decade, around 95 percent of women are not in the formal sector. Women leaders share how to move forward.

According to the International Labor Organization, 81.8 percent of women’s employment in India is concentrated in the informal economy—that is, work that is not taxed or is under the table. On today’s episode of the Hidden Economics of Remarkable Women, we examine why India has one of the highest rates of women in the informal sector and what can be done to get them more rights, income, and support. Host Reena Ninan first speaks with Deepa, a domestic worker and union member of the Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), which has more than 1.5 million women informal worker members. Then Ninan speaks with SEWA’s Punjab state coordinator Harsharan Kaur, who describes how SEWA advances the rights and economic empowerment of women informal workers. After that, Ninan talks to Institute of Social Studies Trust research fellow Monika Banerjee, who specializes in women informal workers in India, and, finally, the chief economist for South Asia at the World Bank, Hans Timmer.

To hear more about women informal workers in India, listen to our latest episode on this page or subscribe on your favorite podcast app—and thank you to Apple Podcasts, which just listed HERO as a New & Noteworthy Podcast! The Hidden Economics of Remarkable Women is a Foreign Policy podcast supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

About The Hidden Economics of Remarkable Women (HERO):  Could empowering women in the workplace be the simplest way to boost the global economy moving? Host Reena Ninan talks to women around the world changing the status quo in surprising ways to improve their lives, their families, and ultimately, the world. The Hidden Economics of Remarkable Women (HER♀) is a Foreign Policy podcast supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. HER listeners can learn more about these topics by signing up for special access to an FP Analytics policy brief on gender equality. Sign up by clicking here.  See All Episodes

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