Empowering Women Street Vendors through Mobility Solutions
Updated: Aug 23
Street vendors play an essential role in the urban economy and are a major source of income and livelihood for millions of people. The low entry cost associated with street vending makes it a viable employment option. The informal sector has grown to absorb a vast majority of the urban unemployed poor, including marginalized groups and women street vendors.
There are estimated to be roughly 10 million street vendors in India, and 1/3rd of this population are female street vendors who are looking to make ends meet and earn their daily bread. Participation of women in the male-dominated informal sector is largely 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 constraints 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 of these issues make them particularly vulnerable.
They are also forced to handle three responsibilities –of 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. A vast majority of 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 of the opportunities that can improve their life. It is important 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 a multitude of challenges that they face and elevate their condition.
Tigoona’s Solution to Women Street Vendors in India
Today, street vendors are taking an arduous journey towards recovery. Many women sell their goods sitting on the roadside, lacking a proper vending cart. Those who do have carts struggle to move them around, and their movement is severely restricted.
In these testing times, Tigoona aims to offer hope and livelihood with a pioneering mobility solution to women street vendors – a user-friendly three-wheeled pushcart designed like a tricycle with a compact and functional design.
The new Tigoona carts offer a human-centric design, helping women street vendors confront the socio-economic, environmental, physical, and mobility challenges they face daily. With greater freedom of movement, higher load capacity, and protection from extreme weather, the pushcart also makes it easier for female street vendors to travel longer distances and expand their business.
With women empowerment and cultural inclusivity in mind, the Tigoona carts are designed to be compatible with traditional dresses and attires, offering a comfortable and safe ride without the need for balancing or the fear of falling.
Tigoona is helping women street vendors in their journey towards self-reliance, empowering them to regain their livelihood as well as their sense of pride and dignity. And now, we need you to drive the change with us!
Read More: about helping street vendors in India.