Sector Specialist, Home-Based Workers, Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO)
Shalini Sinha works in the Urban Policies Programme of the global action-research-policy network, Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO). Since 2009 she has been contributing to the Gates Foundation funded global project – Inclusive Cities. The project is a consortium of largely membership based organizations of the working poor, that aims through organizing and policy advocacy to ensure that urban informal workers needs are heard within urban planning processes.
Shalini is based in India and her work focuses on developing and documenting decent work and livelihoods opportunities for women workers in the informal economy, especially women home-based workers in urban locations. Earlier Shalini worked as an independent consultant specializing in labour, gender and social development issues with several national and international organizations. She has published extensively on gender and pro-poor issues in the Indian and the South Asian context.
As of 2011-12, 82% of all urban women workers are in informal employment in India, working in their own homes (as home-based workers); in other people's homes (as domestic workers); and in public spaces (as vendors or construction workers or waste-pickers). Poverty, vulnerability and insecurity mark their existence and their work remains undervalued and unrecognised.
These invisible women work in the homes, streets and markets in our cities, and yet we do not see them, or acknowledge their myriad contributions. They can be working in your home and mine, or providing us with our daily needs or collecting our garbage. Despite their daily contributions to our lives and needs, how many of us are ready to acknowledge that they are indispensable to our very existence?