Poverty is experienced differently according to gender, age, caste, class and ethnicity and within households. Poverty pushes you across geographical boundaries and the societal frames set by the same factors in order to survive.
More often than others women tend to fall victim to the Burden from these discriminatory power relations in the society. The working women from the lower economic section of the city today are those who have set about to tackle this problem on their own by their own means. They could be migrants, victims of displacement caused by developmental projects or survivors of natural disasters or simply looking for work.
They work as housemaids, sweepers, petty hawkers and largely vendors who now fall under the informal sector of workers in the big cities. The concerns of informal economy workers and particularly women workers can be easily overlooked in the process of policy making and even urban planning. The urban space these women occupy and function in, are not theirs and therefore are shortchanged by urban planners and various government officials who do not completely comprehend their significance in the neighbourhood or the city as a whole.
An Indian city without these women is somehow rendered, devoid of life and colour in my imagination.
A photo series of working women from the streets and neighbourhoods of different cities, by Krithika Sriram.