Informal Sector surveys are the only reasonable way to estimate the size and characteristics of informal sector. Measurement of informal sector has been approached from social and economic perspectives. The social approach focuses on the characteristics of informal sector as a source for employment, the contribution of the sector to total employment and the work conditions. The economic approach focuses on the contribution to the GDP. A number of methods have been used so far to measure informal employment and informal sector contribution. The 1-2-3 survey, 1-2 survey and parallel mixed economic and social surveys are the most well known tools. All these tools are challenged by the changing trend and irregular manner of women involvement in the economy across time and countries with different development stages. In some countries, there has been an overall increase in the proportion of employment in the informal sector. In this paper, we discuss the methodological challenges faces official statistics in the measurement of women involvement in the informal economy, as well as the measurement of informal employment outside informal enterprises and its gender dimension. Home-based workers are own-account workers and contributing family workers helping the own-account workers, involved in the production of goods and services, in their homes, for the market and those home workers, who work in their homes for remuneration, resulting in a product or service as specified by the employer(s), irrespective of who provides the equipment, materials or other inputs used; and those contributing family workers helping such home workers. This has an impact on measuring gender related characteristics in the expanding economy and economic integration. Some attention is given for measuring gender related characteristics in linkages between unpaid care work and production, and measuring gender characteristics of home based work. Some policy insights are also discussed.
Keywords: Informal sector; Labour force; Gender; Adverse conditions
Biography: Luay Shabaneh, PhD
President of Palestininan Central Buruea of Statistics
Chief Technical Advisor, UNFPA-Iraq