Marketplaces are extremely important for women’s livelihoods. Women make up the vast majority of marketplace vendors in Timor-Leste, with an estimated 75%-90% of vendors estimated to be women.
The primary purpose of this project was to identify and analyse the various concerns and opportunities for improvement, from the perspective of women vendors themselves. Linked to this, the team also assessed the safety and accessibility of the marketplace for women and people with disabilities. The research found that as workplaces, marketplaces are often lacking in basic facilities such as toilets and running water, and there are safety concerns at night and when traveling to and from the marketplace, all of which limit women vendors’ ability to work with dignity and earn an adequate income.
The research was conducted in Suai, Covalima, with Bridging Peoples staff supporting Local NGO Centru Comunidade Covalima (CCC) in conducting the research and developing a basic advocacy strategy. The approach was participatory, conducting a series of workshops with women vendors and government/civil society stakeholders to analyse the main contributing factors, and addressing these concerns with Municipal government service providers.
This project was conducted from mid-2018 to early 2019.