Findings from a recent study on the impact of the economic crisis on informal workers in Asia, Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa reveal that transmission of the crisis to the informal economy is hitting poor women hard. Women constitute the majority of the informal workforce in most developing countries, and predominate its poorest and most vulnerable ranks. Evidence from four informal sectors suggests that income and employment trends during the crisis – decreasing demand and wages aggravated by rising competition – are strongest in the poorest-paying and lowest barrier-to-entry informal sectors and sub-sectors where women are concentrated. The crisis is compounding women’s paid and unpaid informal work burden. As a result, the relative socio-economic vulnerability of poor working women and their families is deteriorating during the crisis.
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