Socio-Economic Impact of COVID-19 on Women Migrant Workers

Authored by: Basudeb Guha-Khasnobis and Suvir Chandna

Categories: Global Public Health, Human Rights, Humanitarian Emergencies
Sub-Categories: COVID-19, Economic Participation, Economic Recovery, Human Development, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV)
Region: No Region
Year: 2021
Citation: Guha-Khasnobis, Basudeb and Suvir Chandna. "Socio-Economic Impact of COVID-19 on Women Migrant Workers." United Nations Development Programme. June 2021.

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Executive Summary

The COVID-19 pandemic is having a devastating impact on every aspect of life. Facing loss of livelihoods and inadequate safety nets, migrant workers in India constitute perhaps the most severely affected cohort of Indians. However, the socio-economic impact on these migrant workers has a gendered dimension to it too. A survey of 10,161 women migrant workers in India revealed that they were faced with the double burden of earning a livelihood and unpaid care work at home. In addition, their incomes fell by more than half during the pandemic compared to pre-pandemic levels. Against this backdrop, we present the importance of social protection measures for Indian women migrant workers along four dimensions, namely: food security, cash assistance, government health insurance, and protection against domestic violence.