Janhavi Dave is co-leader of Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO), a global network for improving the working conditions, rights, protection, economic opportunities and voice of women in the informal economy. She is also International Coordinator of HomeNet International, a global network of membership-based workers’ organisations representing thousands of home-based workers and was formerly the Coordinator of HomeNet South Asia. She previously worked with the Self-Employed Women’ Association and has over 15 years’ experience of organising and building membership-based organisations.
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Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO)
Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO) is a global research-policy-advocacy network whose mission is to improve the conditions of the working poor, especially women, in the informal economy. WIEGO brings together three membership constituencies. Our institutional members are democratic, representative organizations of workers in informal employment. These include global, regional and national networks, unions and organizations of domestic workers, home-based workers, street vendors and market traders, and waste pickers â€” all sectors where women are overrepresented. Our individual members are researchers, statisticians and development practitioners who share a common concern that productive resources are disproportionately channeled toward the formal economy, and risks and constraints are disproportionately downloaded onto workers in informal employment. Through our membership structure, we aim to bridge the day-to-day lived experience of workers in informal employment with the mainstream policy debates that affect their lives and livelihoods.
Throughout its 25-year history, the WIEGO Network has been instrumental in transforming systems and in building a global, women-led movement of workers in informal employment. WIEGO supported the formation and growth of StreetNet International in 2002, which now has 58 affiliates in 55 countries; of the International Domestic Workers Federation in 2013, which today has 84 affiliates in 65 countries; and of HomeNet International in 2021, which at present has 36 affiliates in 20 countries. Membership across the entire WIEGO Network currently totals more than 8.8 million across 94 countries. The WIEGO Network has played a major role in securing international labour standards including ILO Conventions C177 on homework, C189 on domestic work, and C190 on the elimination of violence and harassment in the world of work; and ILO Recommendation 204 on the transition from the informal to the formal economy. WIEGO also has made fundamental contributions to the improvement of statistical standards on informal employment, and is the global leader in producing worker-centered, policy-relevant research on informal employment.