How women participate in the labour market

In this video, Christine Bigler, Bounseng Khammounty and Sony KC introduce the concept of gender and labour markets in Nepal, Laos and Rwanda.

Although women’s participation in the paid labour market has increased in recent decades, gender discrimination in access to decent work persists. This course will examine both local and global issues, with testimonies from women workers from different parts of the world. We will also investigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the labour market.

Our fundamental understanding is that gender is not a binary category: the gender spectrum encompasses much more than male and female identities. There are many different gender identities, such as agender, bigender, cisgender, gender fluid, gender neutral, genderqueer, non-binary, pangender, third gender, transgender, or two-spirit, to name but a few.

In this course, we will be talking about women and men, since globally a large percentage of people identify themselves as female or male and since the available scientific and statistical data are broken down into these two categories. We believe it is important to highlight this discrepancy and to express our consideration and recognition of all people, regardless of the gender with which they identify.

Christine Bigler is a senior researcher in the field of gender and sustainability. She lives in Switzerland.

Bounseng Khammounty is from Laos, where he focuses on vocational training in the industrial sector.

Sony KC lives in Kathmandu, Nepal, and is a social scientist. Her PhD is focused on women in the Nepali labour market.

Together, they welcome you to this truly global course that tries to find answers to its central questions: “Does the COVID-19 pandemic affect women and men differently in the workplace? If so, why?” Obviously, the question concerns the situation all over the globe. So, what comes to mind when you think about these questions? Reflect and take some notes.