Women in the Informal Work Sector and Sustainability Options
Women remain concentrated in invisible areas of informal work, such as domestic labour and assistance in small family enterprises, which offer precarious employment status, low, irregular or no remuneration, little or no access to social security or protection and limited ability to organize to ensure the enforcement of ILO standards and human rights. Women working in the informal sector face casual or irregular employment with little or no social security benefits, falling outside the scope of protective labor legislation, predominance of sub-contracting jobs done for the protective sector, engaging women and children at lower wages than men, deplorable working conditions; often without basic amenities, very limited opportunities for skill up gradation or improved production techniques and little if any trade union participation or organization. They must also often contend with deficient infrastructure and a range of time and space constraints on their productivity. Socialist Feminist Theory guided the study, descriptive research design was adopted and quantitative data was analyzed using the Statistical package for Social Sciences while the qualitative data was analyzed using Content analysis.Findings revealed that women in the informal work sector do not have easy access to credit facilities due to several factors such as demand for collateral, high interest rate charged in Banks, level of literacy and the number of lending institutions available.The study concluded that there is a significant relationship between the sustainability options women derive in business and the totality of their experience the informal work sector. There is also a significant relationship between awareness of credit facilities and the ability to obtain credit from lending institutions.
Key words: Informal work, Domestic labour, Collateral, Irregular Employment, Productivity