About Women Home-Based Workers in South Asia
The unorganised, informal sector makes up a majority of the workforce in South Asia. And home-based workers (HBWs), particularly women, form a vital part of informal economies in the region. By definition, home-based workers are a category of informal sector workers who carry out remunerative work from their own homes or adjacent grounds or premises.
It is estimated that there are over 67 million home-based workers in just four countries of South Asia alone. These include Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan. Millions remain in the shadows and go unaccounted for in national statistics.
Home-based work is very diverse. On one end, you can find home-based workers engaged in traditional industries like carpet weaving, basket making and embroidery. On the other, you will also find them in new-age industries like assembling micro-electronics or medical equipment.
A majority of HBWs are women. Their labour drives industry and economies while also keeping their families out of poverty. However, they are rarely recognised as workers and access to labour entitlements remain out of their reach.
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