Precarious work is characterized by informality, uncertainty, instability, low wages, and inadequate social benefits for workers. While often seen as a recent trend in the Global North, it has long been associated with informal work and employment in the Global South, worsened by neoliberal policies.
Given this context, understanding the gendered experiences of precarious work becomes crucial, as it holds the potential to exacerbate pre-existing gender inequalities. Women’s reproductive work, including unpaid labor and societal reproduction, has always been precarious and invisible. This extends to paid domestic and care work, mainly performed by marginalized women. Further, the increased flexibility and insecurity in the labor market have disproportionately affected women, leading to their concentration on inferior, and more precarious work. This persistent insecurity burdens women as they deal with crises like the pandemic, economic upheaval, and climate change.
Against this backdrop, ISST’s work aims to explore precarity as both an economic challenge and a threat to life’s reproduction. We seek to unpack the experiences and challenges faced by women engaged in precarious work and caregiving roles. Our focus includes an intersectional analysis of precarious work across different social and geographical contexts, with a heightened impact on specific marginalized groups.