Hyderabad: Canadian funding agency International Development Research Centre (IDRC) has awarded a generous grant to University of Hyderabad’s Professor Usha Raman and Erasmus University’s Professor Payal Arora. Usha Raman is a part of UoH’s Department of Communication at the Sarojini Naidu School of Arts and Communication.
This grant represents a larger consortium on ‘Women and the Future of Work in the Global South’, with partners from across the Asian countries. The two professors are researching on ‘Organising Digitally: Opportunities for Collectivisation among Female Workers in South Asia’.
This project explores how women working in manufacturing sectors can use digital platforms to share complaints and communicate directly with those at the top of the supply chain. Thus, allowing their voices to contribute to the governance of the future of their work.
The project’s main aim is to support initiatives that use digital platforms and social media to build collective agency for female workers at the bottom of supply chains. It also tries to include them in broader conversations on working conditions and supply chain transparency.
With appropriate design, platforms may be harnessed to enhance the representation of female workers, to share information, to connect and collectivise in a changing labour market. It presents opportunities for workers on platforms, as well as those in traditional workplaces to utilise technological advances to advocate for better conditions.
The project will help develop a scalable model for worker collectivisation through digital platforms. It is done by reforming communication practices between workers at the bottom of supply chains with management at the top. It will also document strategies for workers to use digital platforms to build their collective agency.
While working with garment workers in India and Bangladesh, the researchers would document how harnessing digital platforms for collectivisation will enhance the voice and representation of women workers in a digital era.