Informality, women and social protection: identifying barriers to provide effective coverage

Working and discussion papers
March 2016
Martina Ulrichs

Designing more flexible social protection schemes that adjust to the particular needs of women in informal work requires a careful assessment of the obstacles they face in accessing social protection.

This paper provides an overview of the barriers women face in accessing social protection, which in some cases are rooted in the nature of informality and in other cases are gender-specific. Both need to be taken into account when designing social protection schemes for informal female workers.

The paper draws out policy recommendations based on a broad range of examples from formal schemes and programmes covering contributory social insurance and non-contributory social assistance, as well as labour market interventions, which aimed to increase coverage of informal female workers.