Zothan Mawii, Iona Eckstein, Urvashi Aneja, Harsh Ghildiyal
Digital labour platforms have had a significant impact on work and labour markets, creating both a global outsourced workforce, and hyper-local on-demand workers to perform a range of services and tasks.
The impact of digital labour platforms on the Global South has been mixed. On one hand, they create a precarious workforce where workers must contend with fluctuating wages, few safety nets, and poor working conditions. On the other hand, they lower barriers to entry, offer marginally better wages than what may be available in traditional offline markets, and have helped standardise some work processes.
This study focuses on women in India who engage in online work through freelancing platforms and microwork platforms. It uses a mixed method approach to examine the following questions:
* What motivates women to join digital labour platforms?
* What impact do these platforms have on their access to work and financial autonomy? What are their working conditions?
* Do these platforms and digital entrepreneurship enable women’s economic empowerment?
The findings are based on a survey with 365 respondents and 22 semi-structured interviews with women working on online platforms.
IDRC has launched FOWIGS—a research program that will help understand how these changes are affecting the lives of the most vulnerable and suggest pathways for an inclusive digital future. The challenges are large and the questions are complex. But we need to face them now more than ever. Stay connected. Learn how.