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Opportunities, costs and outcomes of platformized home-based work for women: Case studies of Cambodia, Myanmar and Thailand

This project will fill critical knowledge gaps regarding women’s opportunities for home-based work on digital platforms and it will enable comparisons across different forms of platform-based work. The findings will inform evidence-based recommendations for policymakers and for platform firms, with the ultimate goal of supporting women’s engagement with digital platforms in ways that expand their agency, economic security, and inclusion.

Research indicates that in the face of restrictive social norms, women in the Global South often work from home. Moreover, women value flexibility that allows them to balance domestic responsibilities and income generation. The platform economy — specifically labour platforms, online marketplaces, and social media — is creating new work and entrepreneurship opportunities for women that are both home-based and seemingly offer high levels of flexibility. Evidence suggests that use of these platforms is growing among women in the Global South.

By supplying evidence around different forms of home-based platform work and their impact on women’s labour markets in Cambodia, Myanmar, and Thailand, this project will support a multi-stakeholder effort to expand women’s opportunities and improve women’s empowerment amid advancing “platformization”. Cross-country research examining these issues will illuminate the ways that policy and regulatory environments shape women’s engagement across different forms of home-based platform work.

As platform companies expand operations and penetrate new markets such as Myanmar and Cambodia, a better understanding of the dynamics of home-based platform work for women can supply concrete recommendations for companies to institute more gender-sensitive policies that empower women.

Project ID
Project Status
36 months
IDRC Officer
Arjan De Haan
Total Funding
CA$ 926,200.00
South Asia
Employment and Growth
Institution Country
United States
Project Leader
Sabina Dewan
JustJobs Network Inc.

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