Home-based work is a growing global phenomenon, with over 100 million people working from their homes. With the rise of complex global chains of production over the past half-century, home-based work has grown exponentially. The number of home-based workers is estimated to be around 50 million in the countries of South Asia.
In Bangladesh, 71 per cent of all women workers, compared to 20 per cent of all male workers, are home-based. Home based workers lack collective bargaining skills, occupational health and safety and social protection but the economic problems faced by them are different.
Home based workers face the problem of exploitation, of low wages and lack of secure contracts. In addition, they have to pay for many of the non wage costs of production – costs of space and storage, utilities and equipment.