Learning from experience: A gendered approach for workers in the informal economy
To help expand the focus of the social protection debate to include the informal sector, particularly women workers, the ILO global programme STEP, "Strategies and Tools against Social Exclusion and Poverty" and the global network called Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO) co-organized a workshop entitled “Social Protection for Women in the Informal Sector” in December 1999 in Geneva, Switzerland. More than 80 practitioners, researchers, and policy-makers exchanged practical experiences and research findings on this topic. The purpose of the workshop was to highlight the need for social protection of women workers in the informal sector; to exchange experience on what is currently being done to develop alternative approaches and to extend mainstream approaches to social protection; and to identify gaps and priorities for future research, development programmes and policy. This paper, which provides a framework of analysis and an overview of current practice, was commissioned by WIEGO and ILO-STEP to serve as background reading and a common point of reference for discussions at the workshop.