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Economies beyond emergencies: assessing impacts of COVID-19 policy responses on informal workers in India, Kenya, and Uganda

The COVID-19 pandemic has wrought a global socio-economic crisis, with profound implications for the wellbeing of individuals, households, and communities. It has further deepened existing social inequalities and heightened risks for gender-based violence and violation of sexual and reproductive health and rights among marginalized groups. The disruption in livelihoods and protective networks has undermined the bargaining power of women, exposing them to higher risk of abuse and exploitation in domestic and public spaces and in the workplace. This further sets the stage for the increased occurrence of harmful traditional practices that are anchored in gender norms, such as female genital mutilation, early and forced child marriages, and child labour.

This project will undertake research to inform gender-responsive, accountable, and democratic policies and strategies that ensure vulnerable populations affected by COVID-19, such as female workers in informal urban economies, can recover and rebuild their lives and livelihoods. Research in three urban settings in India, Kenya, and Uganda will generate data on the impact of the COVID-19 response on women workers in the informal economy. This will provide an understanding of how gender norms, pathways to economic empowerment, and the gendered impacts of violence and access to essential health services can inform policy that is responsive to the specific needs of women workers in these informal economies.

Project ID
Project Status
24 months
IDRC Officer
Kundan Mishra
Total Funding
CA$ 900,000.00
Democratic and Inclusive Governance
Governance and Justice
Institution Country
United States
Project Leader
Julia Arnold
International Center for Research on Women