Prof. Usha Raman, professor at Department of Communication, Sarojini Naidu School of Arts & Communication, University of Hyderabad and Prof. Payal Arora, Erasmus University has been awarded a generous grant from the Canadian funding agency, International Development Research Centre (IDRC). This grant represents part of a larger consortium on Women and the Future of Work in the Global South, with partners from across the Asian region. Both the professors are working on project titled “Organizing Digitally: Opportunities for collectivisation among female workers in South Asia”.
This project explores how women manufacturing workers can use digital platforms to share grievances and communicate directly to the top of the supply chain, allowing their voices to contribute to the governance of the future of work. The overall objective of the project is to support initiatives that use digital platforms and social media to build the collective agency of women workers at the bottom of supply chains and include them into larger conversations on working conditions and supply chain transparency. With appropriate design, platforms may be harnessed to enhance the representation of women workers, to share information, to connect and collectivize in a changing labour market. This presents opportunities for workers on platforms, as well as those in traditional workplaces to utilize technological advances to advocate for better conditions.
The project will develop a scalable model for worker collectivization through digital platforms by reforming communication practices between workers at the bottom of supply chains with management at the top, and will document strategies for workers themselves to us digital platforms to build their collective agency. Working with garment workers in India and Bangladesh, researchers will document how harnessing digital platforms for collectivization will enhance the voice and representation of women workers in a digital era.