Gendered income inequality and the precariousness of street trading

Gender differences and the precariousness of street traiding

In the HK census there is an occupation category designated as street traders. The fact that there is a specific category tells us something about the state of being in Hong Kong. The census tells us that there are nearly 15.5 thousand steet traders in Hong Kong, but actually there are probably more, as a lot of the street trading is illegal and people may also do it on a part-time basis. What this info-graphic demonstrates, is that firstly street trading is a precarious business for everyone, but particularly for women.

The ratio of male street traders to female traders counted by the census is 3 to 2. The reasons for the income differential is unclear. It may be that women have locations that are less profitable. It may be that the goods that women street traders sell are less valuable so overall earnings are less. Some evidence from studies done in the 1970’s and 80’s indicate that street trading is often a family business and women work as family labour. We just don’t know as street trading is something that many at government level in Hong Kong wish would just go away. It clearly isn’t and as International Women’s day passes, it is also clear that there is further work to be done with regard to gender equity at all levels of society and all over the world.

red coversThe 2011 HK census has a new online feature where you can make your own tables. The website can be found here.

If you want to make your own infographic, you might try Pictochart, which is how I made this one.

2 thoughts on “Gendered income inequality and the precariousness of street trading

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