Global Gathering of Informal Economy Leaders Opens November 11 in Indonesia

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Global assembly to celebrate women’s leadership achievements and chart the future takes place in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

Leaders in the informal economy from around the globe will gather in Yogyakarta, Indonesia this week to celebrate significant achievements in recent years, and to chart the years ahead. The gathering of about 150 organizational leaders, researchers, activists and policymakers happens as part of the General Assembly of Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing—or WIEGO—from 11-13 November.

The General Assembly, held every four years, will celebrate the growing strength of women in leadership roles in the informal economy, which accounts for the majority of employment in most regions of the World.

There is much to celebrate. For example:

  • In 2013 the International Domestic Workers’ Federation was formed. The world’s first global federation run by women, it supports national organizations in their struggle for decent work for the millions who work in others’ homes as domestic workers.
  • Street vendors in India recently won their fight for progressive, national legislation with provisions that protect their livelihoods, social security and human rights. The Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) joined forces with the National Association of Street Vendors of India to lead the fight.
  • In Thailand, homeworkers—those who produce goods in their homes on contract—have gained important national legislation to protect their livelihoods.
  • Waste pickers have made great gains in being officially recognized for their crucial social and environmental contributions to municipal waste systems. For example, waste pickers in Brazil have received payment for service, while in Colombia they secured the legal right to tender for waste management contracts.

Women leaders who played significant roles in achieving these victories will be available for interviews during the General Assembly.

On Thursday, November 13 a public event to discuss "Formalizing the Informal Economy: Perspectives of Informal Workers" will be held at the Eastparc Hotel, Yogyakarta, from 09:00-12:00.

Discussions and events at the General Assembly can also be followed on our GA Blog,, and on Twitter via hashtag #WIEGOGA2014.

WIEGO is a global action-research-policy network that seeks to improve the status of the working poor, especially women, in the informal economy: through stronger organizations, better data and research, and fairer policies and regulations. Visit

Media Contact: Demetria Tsoutouras Demetria.Tsoutouras(at)wiego(dot)org or +1 613 882-3364.

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