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International Development Research Centre Grant Awarded To Profs Usha Raman And Payal Arora

Shivangi Sharma and Pragya Jain

(15.12.2019)

University of Hyderabad’s Usha Raman, professor at the Department of Communication, Sarojini Naidu School of Arts & Communication and Erasmus University’s Payal Arora have been awarded a grant from the Canadian funding agency for the study into the ways digital communication can be made use of to address issues faced by women workers in the manufacturing sector. 

The study comes from the need to highlight the plight of women workers in the manufacturing sector, especially from poor backgrounds, and how using digital platforms to share their grievances, and communicate directly to the top management to improve governance and future of workplaces can be effected properly. The study has been titled as “Organising Digitally: Opportunities for collectivisation among female workers in South Asia”.

The Professors will work with garment workers in India and Bangladesh, and document how harnessing digital platforms for collectivisation will enhance the voice and representation of women workers in the digital era. The chief objective of the project is to support initiatives that make use of digital platforms and social media to collectivise women workers, placed at the bottom of supply chains. Such collectivisation is necessary to help secure a seat at the table for them so that they participate in larger conversations on working conditions and supply-chain transparency. The project is aimed at developing a scalable model through digital platforms by overhauling communication practices between workers and top management. Additionally, it will document the strategies for workers themselves to use digital platforms to build their collective agency.

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.

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