The COVID‐19 pandemic: Narratives of informal women workers in Indian Punjab

Nadia Singh*, Areet Kaur

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The COVID-19 crisis has translated into an unprecedented humanitarian crisis for the poor and marginalized groups in society. The countrywide lockdowns, quarantine measures, and mobility restrictions across 200 countries of the world have resulted in a host of negative manifestations for women. There have been unprecedented losses in the informal economy, which is dominated by women. Some scholars also contend that the pandemic will translate into heightened burden of unpaid domestic work, loss of economic autonomy and disruption to maternal health services. Despite these factors a gendered perspective is absent in the policy response to this crisis. It is against this background that the present paper employed a feminist intersectionality lens to conduct participatory field based research on the lived experiences of women in informal employment in Indian Punjab during the COVID-19 crisis. The research unearthed the specific pathways through which existing socio-economic inequities rooted in caste, class and occupational entities magnify the vulnerabilities experienced by women during such a health crisis. The research offers a contextualized framework for understanding the gendered impacts of the crisis. It also highlights the urgency of taking account of gender specific constraints during the health crisis so as to institute robust, effective and equitable policy interventions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)388-407
Number of pages20
JournalGender, Work & Organization
Issue number2
Early online date27 Oct 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2022


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