Understanding and improving women's work on digital labour platforms

The project explores the experiences of women on digital labour platforms in multiple sectors of the economy in India, Kenya, Nigeria and Uganda. It builds evidence on the emerging opportunities and challenges platforms create to provide guidance for ensuring decent working conditions on platforms.

Background and goals of the project

Digital economy is becoming a key driving force behind economic development. It is increasingly being embraced by advanced and developing countries. This has led to the proliferation of platform or gig work facilitated by digital labour platforms. Countries are investing in developing digital infrastructure as well as technologies, but there still exists a digital divide.

The project builds on ILO’s previous research on the transformation of the world of work through digital labour platforms, the focus of the ILO’s 2021 World Employment and Social Outlook report. The report shows that the past decade has seen a fivefold increase in platforms globally in certain specific sectors such as online labour platforms, taxi and delivery platforms. Further, it shows that platforms offer some opportunities for certain groups of workers but there are some challenges.

This project explores the penetration of digital platforms in different sectors of the economy in select developing countries (India, Kenya, Nigeria and Uganda) and aims to understand the experiences of women and their working conditions on digital labour platforms.

Through quantitative and qualitative surveys and interviews with workers, the project builds knowledge about the experiences of women in accessing and performing work on such platforms to understand the emerging opportunities as well as the challenges. The sectors which will be explored for the study include health care, medical consultation, domestic work, tutoring, personal services, online freelance and microtask, and ecommerce platforms.

The project also engages with key stakeholders - governments, trade unions, employers’ organizations and platform companies - through interviews to understand their perspectives about the rise of digital economy and especially digital labour platforms and measures that would be required for promoting decent work opportunities for women on digital labour platforms.

The Research Department of the ILO is implementing the project in collaboration with country-level implementing partners.

Countries of implementation

  India                       Kenya                       Nigeria                 Uganda

Implementation Partners

Thunderbird School of Global Management
Lagos Business School         
Makerere University                     

Phases of Implementation

Key Upcoming Knowledge Products 

For further information please contact

Uma Rani (amara@ilo.org); Rishabh K Dhir (dhir@ilo.org);
Nóra Gőbel (gobel@ilo.org)