FROM THE FIELD: The Indian women weaving a digital web

Women weavers in Gujarat, India, feared the worst for their livelihood when the COVID-19 pandemic struck, and work practically ground to a halt. However, thanks to their proficiency with online tools, they have been able to thrive through this difficult period.

Self-employed rural Indian women learn how to carry out basic online transactions. Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA)

The weavers had taken part in an initiative managed by the World Bank, the Leelavati Project, which is improving the digital and financial literacy of around half a million women across six Indian states.

As well as being able to promote and sell via Instagram and Facebook, they can carry out online transactions, avoiding the need for face-to-face cash sales. These kinds of skills were becoming important for Indian workers in the informal economy before the pandemic: today they are indispensable.

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