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The gig economy: an opportunity to extend social protection to excluded women?

Time (GMT +00) 10:00 11:15


Robin Varghese - Senior Economist and Head of Engagement, Economic Advancement Program and Soros Economic Development Fund, Open Society Foundations


H.E. Prof. Dr. Yohana Yembise - Minister of Women's Empowerment and Child Protection, Republic of Indonesia

Hon. Bathabile Dlamini - Minister of Women, South Africa


Francesca Bastagli @FraBastagli - Head of Programme, Social Protection and Social Policy, ODI

Catherine Sutjahyo - Chief Commercial Expansion, GO-JEK

Dawn Gearhart - Future of Work Campaign Lead, National Domestic Workers Alliance


The gig economy – in which digital technologies connect workers with consumers – is growing rapidly globally. On-demand platform work is growing particularly quickly in sectors in which women commonly make up a majority share of the workforce such as domestic work, paid care services, small-scale catering and beauty services.

Access to adequate social protection is at the core of the debate around the implications of the gig economy for the world’s most marginalised and precarious workers – many of whom are women. ODI’s research has highlighted significant challenges; the rise of on-demand platform work is associated with an increase in the vulnerability of women gig workers.

However, the gig economy may also present an opportunity to tackle some of the barriers to adequate social protection. As well as improving labour market participation, digital technology holds the potential to increase the visibility of informal workers to public bodies and to facilitate administrative processes.

This event, co-hosted by the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Indonesia to the United Nations, brings together policy makers, representatives from on-demand platform organisations, trade unions, and experts from the gender and social protection fields to explore what it will take to realise the potential of the gig economy to increase access to social protection for the world’s most marginalised women.