Women's Collective Organizations and Economic Informality


Kinyanjui, Mary Njeri. 2014. "Women's Collective Organizations and Economic Informality." In Women and the Informal Economy in Urban Africa: From Margins to the Centre, 99-115. London: Zed Books. 

Author: Mary Njeri Kinyanjui


"Involvement in the urbanism project in African cities is both an individual issue and a collective one. As individuals migrate into the city, they need to relate to the rest of the people in a community. Often migrants follow or are invited to the city by someone they know, and recent migrants settle and work close to the individuals with whom they are familiar. These relationships are structured into collective organizations or alliances that are formed by migrants from the same rural origin, ethnicity, school, religion, residential area, gender, trade or business sector. The migrants thereby constitute collective organizations through which they communicate and strategize on matters of socioeconomic and political welfare; these associations are part of a large majority of ordinary people’s social structure in cities and play important roles in livelihood negotiation (Kinyanjui 2012; Simone 2001a). This chapter presents information on the nature and functions of women’s collective organizations in economic informality in Nairobi. However, the focus of this chapter is on the self-organization of women in economic informality, not on externally generated organization. This is the kind of self-organization that emerges from the fact that people with similar norms organize and sustain cooperation that advances their common interests (Ostrom 1990)" (Kinyanjui 2014, 99). 

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Migration, Gender, Women, Households, Livelihoods Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Kenya

Year: 2014

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