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Informal Economy Topic(s): Organizing & Organizations in the Informal Economy

Waste & Gender: Rethinking Relations for Empowerment

by Deia de Brito, with Sonia Diaswoman waste picker

Little research exists about gender relations and divisions among waste pickers. A collaborative project involving waste pickers in Latin America has shed light on the multiple levels of discrimination that women waste pickers face and their needs.

Informal Workers Organizing Internationally

Timeline of Key Events

sewa women1970s  

1972 – Founding of SEWA

1983 – SEWA affiliates with International Union of Food and Allied Workers’ Associations (IUF)
1988 – Founding of Latin American and Caribbean Confederation of Household Workers (CONLACTRAHO)
1989 – Founding of National Network of Homeworkers (PATAMABA) Philippines

Waste Picker Video Series: Chronicle of a Fight for Inclusion

About the Series

(Text in Spanish follows the English version)

Organizing & Organizations

“The first step out of poverty is organization. Organizing allows us to become social actors ...

Ratification by Countries of Domestic Workers' Convention (C189)

These countries have ratified the Domestic Workers Convention 2011 (C189) and Recommendation (No. 201):





Costa Rica


Organizing in the Informal Economy

waste pickers demonstrating
Organizing gives the poorest segments of the working class – those working in the informal economy, and especially women – a way to be seen and heard by decision makers with the power to affect their lives.

Informal Hawkers and Vendors Association of Ghana (IHVAG)

The Informal Hawkers and Vendors Association of Ghana (IHVAG) was formed in 2003, and registered in 2005. It was formerly called StreetNet Ghana. Currently, there are over 6,000 members, who work in street and market trading; approximately two-thirds of the members are women. The organization has six branches in two cities, and is governed by an executive committee of five women and two men. 

Worker Education & Capacity Building Resources

These resources from WIEGO and partners can be downloaded and shared for free.The Only School We Have

Protection for Homeworkers in Thailand

Thai shoemakerHomeNet Thailand and its supportive partners, including WIEGO, played an essential role in winning legislative protection for home-based workers.