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  • Aditi Surie

ILO, Geneva: Women, Work, and the Platform Economy: A Global South Perspective


From how we buy groceries and hail a cab, to how we access household services, technology is transforming the way we live and work. Much of this new world is mediated by platforms --digital interfaces that connect consumers to providers of various types of goods, services, or information through a two-sided application. This emerging ecosystem of digitally mediated work is upending traditional employment models and altering employment relationships.


Against the backdrop of this major restructuring of labour markets, key questions about women’s labour force participation and work emerge. How are women faring in this new labour market? And what must happen to enable women to avail opportunities and minimize the costs of participating in this emerging ecosystem of digital work? The answers to these questions are imperative to harnessing the productive potential of women as the digital platform economy continues to evolve.


The answers to these questions are, however, very different for the Global North and the Global South. Labour markets in the Global South are more heterogenous; they have a large and growing pool of workers; and are characterized by high levels of informality. How do these characteristics impact the way the platform economy operates and the challenges and opportunities it poses for women’s work in the Global South?

Panellists:

Dr. Uma Rani, Senior Economist, Research Department, ILO [Global]

Sabina Dewan, President and Executive Director, JustJobs Network [Global]

Helani Galpaya, CEO, LIRNEasia [Sri Lanka]

Huê-Tâm Jamme, Assistant Professor, Arizona State University and Fellow, JustJobs Network [Thailand, Myanmar and Cambodia]

Ramiro Federico Albrieu, Senior Economist, Red Sur [Latin America]

Aditi Surie, Senior Consultant, Indian Institute of Human Settlements [India]

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