Employment quality matters for overall well-being. According to the ILO, 86% of employment in Africa is in the informal sector. Very few young people in Africa and the Middle East can afford to be unemployed, so in the absence of a stable job, they earn a living through unstable or underpaid work. Part of our goal is to change the nature of the jobs that young people already have, moving out of precarious, unstable or underpaid employment into stable jobs that pay well and meet employment conditions that matter to them.

The ILO refers to good work as “decent work.” However to apply the decent work framework in practice, the local context (related to types of jobs available, regulation and working conditions) is critical. Therefore, the way we look at decent work varies from project to project and may include one or more of its different dimensions such as income/benefits; safety/well-being; working time and work life balance; social protection; job security; and the ability to engage in social dialogue. We support initiatives that listen to young people, especially women, to understand what decent work means to them.