Empowering Women Street Vendors through Mobility Solutions
Updated: Apr 9, 2022
Street vendors play an essential role in the urban economy and are a significant source of income and livelihood for millions. The low entry cost of street vending makes it a viable employment option. The informal sector has grown to absorb most of the urban unemployed poor, including marginalized groups and women street vendors.
According to Business-Standard, There are estimated to be roughly 10 million street vendors in India, and 1/3rd of this population are female street vendors looking to make ends meet and earn their daily bread. Participation of women in the male-dominated informal sector is primarily due to economic needs.
Street vending has also emerged as a source of women empowerment for those economically backward women who wish to live with dignity, respect, and financial independence. However, this journey of self-entrepreneurship is more challenging for women, with conditions having worsened in the wake of the pandemic.
The Many Challenges Faced by Female Street Vendors
Female street vendors face a variety of challenges. Apart from bearing all the general informal sector constraints and difficulties, they also have to face limitations associated with gender dynamics and cultural norms.
The COVID-19 pandemic has only added to the challenges faced by female street vendors, worsening the pre-existing gender disparities. Loss of income, limited access to opportunities, poor literacy, mobility restraints, lack of sanitation facilities, a constant threat of eviction from civic authorities – all these issues make them particularly vulnerable.
Women Street Vendors are forced to handle three responsibilities: a mother, a wife, and a worker. Health issues such as headaches, body and joint pain, boils, fever, etc., have become common among women vendors. Many female vendors have also used up their savings or taken loans to feed their families during the lockdown.
Due to a lack of general public support and social security, they are never exposed to any opportunities that can improve their lives. It is essential to recognize that helping women street vendors become more independent is a necessity if we were to collectively recover and grow as a society and as an economy.
At Tigoona, we aim to provide an effective solution to women street vendors that will help address many challenges that they face and elevate their condition.
Read More: about helping street vendors in India.