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Understanding and Addressing the Inequalities Affecting Workers in Informal Sector in India

  • A. Yamuna
  • Giridhara R. BabuEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

A society’s development can be judged by the quality of its women’s and children health and how fairly health is distributed across the social gamut. Women, children and some other workers in the informal sector are most deprived of healthcare needs and exposed to detrimental environments. Mainly, women and children make up the most significant proportion of the vulnerable informal workers due to a combination of factors. The vulnerable groups occupy the lowest paying informal jobs with most of the maternal and child health needs not met by the working conditions. Women and children are exposed to physical hardships, psychological ill-being and abuse. Among the vulnerable workers, women are over-represented among the informal workers and mostly lower income occupations. Many workers such as scavengers/waste pickers are the most vulnerable as they do not have an organized, supportive network. Family-organized activities are ordinary in dump scavenging, and this often involves vulnerable individuals such as women, children and the elderly and exposes them to increased health risks. It also often prevents children from having any chance of formal education. There are several factors for this vulnerability. These include irregularity in work, poor economic status, poor negotiating skills, balancing both personal and professional works, poor skills and gender bias. Economic stability of the informal sector alone may not improve their socio-economic status. This chapter discusses the inequality faced by the informal sector workers, the current situation in India and ways to address the inequities affecting workers in the informal sector.

Keywords

The informal sector Inequality Gender Economic status Social security Universal Health Care 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Public Health Foundation of India, Indian Institute of Public Health-HyderabadBengaluruIndia
  2. 2.Lifecourse Epidemiology, PHFIThe Wellcome Trust/DBT India AllianceBengaluruIndia

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