Women workers in emerging economies are concentrated in informal employment where work tends to be insecure, poorly remunerated and unprotected by labour law. Vulnerability to informal employment and associated economic insecurity is driven, in large part, by the prevailing gender division of labour that positions women as primary carers and homemakers.
Policy interventions for a better future for women in the informal economy must therefore address women’s vulnerability as informal workers with limited protection, poor working conditions and low wages, and as workers who have care responsibilities. Disappointingly, work/care reconciliation policies for informal workers has been largely ignored.
This article considers the role that centre-based Early Childhood Education and Care services play in facilitating a more secure economic future for informal working women in the global south. An analysis of four ECEC services in Mexico, Chile and India demonstrates that while challenging, it is possible to design emancipator ECEC services that promote economic security and well-being for informal women workers, their children, and the care workforce. Public action, regulation and dialogue between government and civil society operators are some of the essential principles of an emancipatory approach.
**The other articles in the first edition of the U of OxHRH J can be found here**