March 8, 2017
Around 70 to 80 percent of informal cross-border traders (ICBT) in the southern Africa region are women. Although cross-border trade helps many women become economically empowered, it can also make them extremely vulnerable to harassment and gender-based violence from corrupt border agents. These women also experience high taxation and trade regulations, unsanitary working conditions, and limited access to credit facilities and information on market opportunities.
This International Women's Day (March 8), Microlinks and Agrilinks hosted a special seminar where presenters discussed new findings and recommendations on how to address these constraints through specific infrastructure, communications and training, regulatory support and direct support. These recommendations are critical to not only reducing constraints and challenges women ICBTs face in the region, but can also help to improve trade facilitation as well as promote gender equality and women’s economic empowerment.