Occupational Health of Women Workers in the Informal Economy


Workshop Held in Delhi

“There is a grave need of the hour to understand the occupational health issues for women in the informal economy. It has also been noticed that whenever there have been partnerships between women and organisations, it has yielded new solutions, knowledge and hope. Many more such collaborations are required in tandem with an exhaustive policy on occupational health and safety for informal workers.”

– Mirai Chatterjee, Director, Social Security, SEWA


From April 4-5, 2013 in New Delhi, SEWA organized a workshop to address the hazards and health risks faced by women who work in informal employment, with the intention of getting high-level policy makers engaged in OHS development. The ‘Occupational Health of Women Workers in the Informal Economy’ workshop focused on the work of our partners SEWA, KKPKP, and WIEGO.

The workshop was host to several discussions, from policy implications to the global impact of OHS on workers. Presentations were given by experts of OHS, such as Professor Vilma Santana from the Federal University of Bahia, Brazil; Dr. Barry Kistnasamy, Director of South Africa’s National Institute of Occupational Health; and WIEGO’s Francie Lund. In attendance were representatives from the Ministries of Labour and Employment; Health and Family Welfare; the Planning Commission; the India Institute of Public Health and Indian Association of Occupational Health; and the National Institute of Occupational Health.

Both KKPKP and SEWA have developed new tools and equipment for their members, to make work safer and easier. With support from WIEGO’s OHS Project and help from several design institutions, further progress has been made on prototype equipment for embroiderers, waste pickers and other informal workers; all towards the goal of improved working conditions.

For more information…
“Workshop: Occupational Health of Informal Women Workers.” WIEGO.

“Need for multi-level policy work for informal sector women workers.” Kavitha Kunhi Kannan (April 5, 2013). OneWorld South Asia.

“Women workers face grave occupational health hazards.” Anubha Shukla (April 5, 2013). OneWorld South Asia.


Workshop Agenda