Unprotected Employment in the West Bank and Gaza Strip: A Gender Equality and Workers' Rights Perspective (Also available in Arabic)

In this study, the concept of informal employment is used to refer to the characteristics of the job rather than the characteristics of the economic unit, and explicitly relates to social protection and entitlements. The size of informal employment is computed through direct calculations and indirect estimations based on official surveys. Furthermore, a gender equality and workers’ rights perspective is applied to the analysis of informal employment in the Palestinian context. This perspective highlights the need to use labour rights and other relevant human rights standards to identify the problems facing informal workers, the political, economic, social, and cultural causes and consequences of informalization, and the claims, responsibilities, capabilities and actions required. It suggests ways to introduce policies and programmes providing equal opportunities to women and men; transform institutional norms, rules, procedures, and attitudes; and prioritize the rights of informal workers to exercise choices, access resources and remedies, gain voice, and organize towards equality of access, benefits, and genuine empowerment.

This case study is complemented by a policy brief, a regional overview, as well as a glossary on informal employment, and several other country case studies including Yemen, Syria and Lebanon. It is intended to influence the thinking within the Palestinian Authority (PA), workers’ and employers’organizations, research institutions, and international agencies.