Evidence Review of COVID-19 and Women’s Informal Employment

Informality is the norm for the average woman worker in the world’s poorer regions of Southern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. We organise this evidence review and call to action by focusing on women and informality within existing categories of workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Our focus on women as informal workers in this paper calls attention to the impact of the pandemic on oft-overlooked categories of women workers and calls for their prioritisation in recovery packages. Available evidence suggests a more severe and longer-lasting impact of COVID-19 on women’s employment than on men’s employment for a range of reasons including the share of women’s employment in sectors affected by social distancing measures; an increase in unpaid care work; market and supply chain disruptions in sectors where women are concentrated, such as domestic work; and crisis coping strategies and limited outside options that erode women’s assets and leave them more vulnerable to a slower recovery.
Resource link Interested in joining PULSE for Development? Register here.


  • Pan-India


  • Research report


  • Gender-based issues
  • Livelihoods