Mainstreaming Informal Employment and Gender in Poverty Reduction: A Handbook for Policy-makers and Other Stakeholders

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Martha Alter Chen, Joann Vanek, Marilyn Carr
Commonwealth Secretariat and International Development Research Centre, 2004 - Political Science - 248 pages
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In September 2000, member countries of the United Nations, as part of the Millennium Summit, committed themselves to halve the proportion of the global population that survives on less than $1 a day by the year 2015. Many of those living in poverty, a majority of whom are women, work all of their lives without lifting themselves out of poverty. The International Labour Organization estimates that there are 500 million working poor and their numbers may double before 2015.
In this book, the authors highlight the lack of attention to employment, and especially informal employment, in poverty reduction strategies and point to the links between being informally employed, being a woman or a man, and being poor. They do this within the context of major changes relating to economic restructuring and liberalization and map out the impacts on different categories of informal producers and workers, both men and women. The book draws widely on recent data and evidence of the global research policy network called Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO) as well as the knowledge and experience of the grassroots organizations in the network. Liberally scattered with practical examples, it provides a convincing case for an increased emphasis on informal employment and gender in poverty reduction strategies, and sets out a strategic framework which offers guidelines for policy makers seeking to follow this approach.

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About the author (2004)

Martha Alter Chen is a gender and development specialist and a Lecturer in Public Policy at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. Joann Vanek is a sociologist who specialises in social and gender statistics and worked many years in the United Nations Statistics Division in New York. Marilyn Carr is a development economist and a Research Associate at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, UK.

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