Impact of COVID-19 on Women Workers in the Urban Informal Economy in Uganda and Kenya

Economic Empowerment, Employment and Enterprises

Publication Subtitle: Secondary Data Review
Publication Year: 2022
Publication Author: Kirabo Suubi, Erick Yegon, Carol Ajema, Naome Wandera, Chryspin Afifu, and Cleopatra Mugyenyi

Globally, 2 billion of the world’s employed population aged 15 and older work informally, representing 61.2 percent of global employment, with the vast majority of employment in Africa (85.8 percent) being informal (ILO, 2018). In Uganda, nearly 14 million, or 98 percent, of Uganda’s total working-age population is engaged in the informal sector; of these, 87 percent are women workers.

The informal sector has, for the last decade, consistently contributed more than 55 percent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In Kenya, the informal sector by 2019 provided a livelihood to approximately 15 million people and absorbed up to 88 percent of the women workers, according to the International Labour Organization.

ICRW is implementing REBUILD, a research project that seeks to understand how the social and economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis and policy response affected informal women workers of Kenya and Uganda. ICRW undertook a review of secondary data on the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on informal women workers in Kenya and Uganda. This report presents summary findings and recommendations from our study. We conducted an analytical review of data from institutional reports, published articles, journal papers, policy reports, and secondary data analysis.



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