Women in the Informal Economy

  • A large number of women worldwide work in the informal economy.
  • Four-fifths of those working in Lima, Peru are women.
  • The economic contributions and the number of women working in the informal sector are underestimated because they mostly engage in street vending and home-based work. These activities are the most difficult to document.
  • The women's share in the informal sector production frequently equals that of men.
  • Most women are self-employed


  • Relatively few women are employers who hire paid workers. They are mostly own account traders and producers or casual and sub-contract workers.
  • Men and women are usually involved in different types of employment, even within the same trade.
  • Generally speaking, male traders have larger scale operations and deal in nonfood items.
  • Female traders usually have smaller scale operations and deal in food items.


Women in Informal Employment Globalizing and Organizing - www.wiego.org


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