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Extending social insurance to informal workers: a gender analysis

Working papers

Written by Rebecca Holmes, Lucy Scott

Working papers

Informal workers face high levels of risks yet the majority are not covered by social insurance. Meanwhile, women informal workers face specific and heightened risks, yet more women than men are excluded from insurance schemes.  Increasingly a number of countries are extending social insurance to informal workers, but, with only some exceptions, most policies remain gender-blind or gender-neutral. 

Gender-responsive reforms can ensure increased coverage of women, including of female informal workers, to address the risks they face. These include

(i) legislation in the labour market;

(ii) recognition of the care economy;

(iii) innovative policy design in payment options and simplified administrative processes; and

(iv) investment in gender-sensitive delivery capacity

Rebecca Holmes, Lucy Scott