A collection of articles from around the world on women’s experiences of digital labour platforms
The rise of digital labour platforms has attracted the attention of the media, regulators, and academics. A vast amount of literature and commentary has been produced over the last few years. However, with some exceptions, there continues to be important knowledge gaps about the gender dynamics that exist in the platform economy and about women’s experiences of platform work across different economic and social realities.
To help fill this gap Digital Future Society is publishing Global Perspectives on Women, Work and Digital Labour Platforms, a collection of 10 articles written by 26 gig economy experts.
10 articles about key issues concerning women engaged in digital platform work
Experiences of women on online labour platforms: insights from global surveys
Words by Uma Rani, Nora Gobel and Rishabh Kumar Dhir (International Labour Organization, Switzerland)
Assessing gender inequalities in the platform economy: an analysis of ride-hailing and delivery workers in the Buenos Aires Metropolitan Area
Words by Ariela Micha, Francisca Pereyra (Universidad Nacional de General Sarmiento, Argentina) and Cecilia Poggi (Agence Française de Développement, France)
The experience of women platform workers in Kenya
Words by Savita Bailur (Caribou Digital and Columbia University, United States), Grace Natabaalo (Caribou Digital, Uganda) and Nasubo Ongoma (Qhala, Kenya)
Digital labour platforms in highly feminised sectors: home care in Spain
Words by Olivia Blanchard (Digital Future Society, Spain)
Gender and collective bargaining in the platform economy: experiences of on-demand beauty workers in India
Words by Abhishek Sekharan, Chiara Furtado and Ambika Tandon (Centre for Internet and Society, India)
Domestic work and platformisation in India and South Africa: a look at enablers and barriers
Words by Fairuz Mullagee (Social Law Project, South Africa), Nitya Nangalia (Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) Bharat, India) and Salonie Muralidhara Hiriyur (SEWA Cooperative Federation, India)
Gender and care work platform operational models: setting a research agenda
Words by Funda Ustek-Spilda, Alessio Bertolini, Oguz Alyanak, Kelle Howson and Mark Graham (Fairwork, United Kingdom)
Gender out of focus: methodological reflections on work in India’s platform economy
Words by Aditi Surie (Indian Institute for Human Settlements, India) and Krishna Akhil Kumar Adavi (University of Texas at Austin, United States)
Women gig workers, policymakers and platforms: the pandemic’s impact across several G20 economies
Word by Megha Kumar (Oxford Analytica, United Kingdom)
Gender and the gig economy: critical steps for evidence-based policy revisited
Words by Emma Samman (Overseas Development Institute (ODI), United Kingdom) and Abigail Hunt (Trades Union Congress (TUC) (at ODI until April 2022), United Kingdom)
Krishna Akhil Kumar Adavi
Rishabh Kumar Dhir
Salonie Muralidhara Hiriyur
Absent a concerted policy push, women workers of digital labour platforms will experience gender-based discrimination in hiring practices, lower wages than men and a higher risk of harassment.
To ensure decent work on online labour platforms would require not only looking at the fields of labour law that provide labour and social protection, but also other fields of law and policy such as competition law, and the emerging law governing algorithms.
“Working online brings freedom — I can spend more time with my loved ones. But being a woman and running a business online is not an easy thing.”
Other DFS Think Tank publications on digital labour platforms
The Digital Future Society Think Tank undertakes and commissions research on the impact of technology on society, with a special focus on the design, use and regulation of technology. One of our current areas of research is the future of work and specifically the expansion and impact of digital labour platforms.