On-demand work applications (ODWA), a form of digital platforms, are the primary enablers of short-term or ‘gig’ work economy. In this paper, we study these platforms in their role as enablers of women belonging to low socio-economic sections. These women act as the primary unpaid workers while being expected to make economic contribution. Hence, they suffer from classic case of time scarcity. Gig economy enabled by these ODWAs have made this possible to some extent. We employ the theoretical lens of affordance theory to delineate the affordances that are provided by the various features of ODWA and their impact on these women. We do a mixed method study employing inter-views of gig workers supplemented with survey of 927 workers of one of the largest ODWA in India. Our analysis points to the sense of identity and individuality that these platforms provide. We also find that the presence of a digital platform between the customer and these women lowers the societal boundaries that have been the biggest challenge in their inclusion. Our research is, hence, significant from both information systems and inclusion research perspective as it contributes to the theoretical understanding of the impact of digital platforms on breaking societal structures.
Agarwal, Alka Mrs; Jha, Ashish Kumar; and Jagasia, Jyoti, "MARGINALISED WOMEN AND TIME SCARCITY: A MIXED METHOD STUDY ON ‘ON DEMAND WORK APPS’" (2022). MCIS 2022 Proceedings. 20.