The informal workers’ survey steered by civil society organisation, ActionAid Association was conducted between May-June covering 11,537 respondents of which 28% (3,221) were women.
Among domestic workers, the survey found that 85% lost their livelihoods after the lockdown. In the absence of wages, many of them had to reduce their consumption and rely on savings with almost all (99%) dipping into them. Nearly 68% said they had incurred debts in order to meet their expenses during the lockdown.
Over 88% domestic workers live in urban areas as against only 11.5% in rural areas. Also, 40% of them said they had migrated for work.
On the whole, prior to the lockdown 90% of the women surveyed were working as compared to 85% of men. However, by mid-May, 79% women reported that they were unemployed compared to 75% of men.
As many as 1,788 women workers revealed their exact occupation during the survey. Specific challenges faced by 401 domestic workers and 409 agricultural workers, including weeding workers and farm labour, are highlighted in the report along with those of women beedi makers and waste workers.
Around 52% of women workers reported that they had not received any wages as compared to 46% of men, implying that women workers were at a greater risk of wage penalty after the lockdown. Around 16% of men and women received partial wages after the lockdown, while 32% of female workers and 37% of male workers received full wages.
Though almost all domestic workers had an Aadhaar card, the survey found that enrolment of these workers in government schemes is quite low. Overall, 60% have ration cards. Their enrolment in other schemes was found to be negligible — only 10% were beneficiaries of the Ujjwala Yojana, 19% under Jan Dhan Yojana. Notably, out of those who have Jan Dhan accounts, almost 79% reported having accessed the money provided under PM Garib Kalyan Yojana.