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Gender and Labour in the Global South

Gender and Labour in the Global South

Updated September 2022

Although women’s participation in the paid labour market has increased in recent decades, gender discrimination in access to decent work persists. Women, particularly in the Global South, have the lowest participation in the labour market due to a number of factors. This course will guide you in assessing the Global South’s labour market to understand the impact of gender inequality in labour.

Discover how gender equality in labour contributes to sustainable development

You’ll delve into the major role the labour market plays in helping to achieve the Sustainable Development Agenda from the United Nations. With this understanding, you’ll explore the importance of decent work for sustainable development and examine how gender equality can boost the global economy.

Explore how intersectionality and gender roles impact women’s opportunities

On this course, you’ll explore how intersectionality and gender roles minimise women’s access to decent work, and examine how this labour often goes uncompensated. You’ll hear testimonies from women workers in Laos, Nepal and Rwanda to further investigate the labour market from a gender perspective.

Study with global experts

The educators who created this course have a wealth of experience in the fields of gender and women in the labour market. Their combined insight and expertise will provide you with the guidance to understand the impact of gender on the labour market and be empowered to advocate for decent work for all.

Work at your own pace through the course

Note that this course is also published by the University of Basel on FutureLearn. Adapting the course to the format you are seeing meant that we had to change certain aspects. However, there are still traces of the other format in it.

FutureLearn is a global platform offering free online courses that profit from social learning. This means that the original course encouraged discussions between the learners. Unfortunately, this is not possible in this new format - which, on the other hand, has other advantages, for instance that the course content is freely accessible at all times. On FutureLearn, courses are organised in weeks while in the new format we prefer to offer courses in chapters.

We adapted the structure and replaced the discussions by other step types, where this was possible. However, we did not delete the mention of “weeks” or the invitations to “comment and discuss” from the videos as this would have meant that we would need to record certain materials again. So please do not get confused, if the educators talk about “weeks” or invite you to “discuss” something in the comments section.

Throughout the course we invite you to consider questions or review the content in relation to your own environment. We recommend that you write down the results of these reviews and the answers to the questions from the beginning. This way you can keep track of how your knowledge changes. And should you be able to participate in one of the authors’ face-to-face courses, you can thus refer back to your answers and thoughts and discuss them with your peers.


Christine Bigler

Christine Bigler is a senior researcher and lecturer at the Interdisciplinary Center for Gender Studies at the University of Bern.


Sony K.c.

Sony K.C. holds a PhD in Development Studies and has 9 years of research experience in sectors: Livelihoods, Social Protection, Gender & Social Inclusion, Feminization of Agriculture/labor mark.


Bounseng Khammounty

Bounseng Khammounty is Deputy General Director of the Vocational Education Development Institute (VEDI) in Laos P.D.R., developed the conception of Pre- and In Service of vocational teacher education.