Women in Informal Cross-border Trade: Empirical Evidence from Cameroon

  •  Ousmanou Njikam    
  •  Gérard Tchouassi    


What are the opportunities offered through informal cross-border trade-ICBT? What are the business and institutional constraints hindering the achievement of these opportunities? What are the coping mechanisms and do they differ with gender? These issues are addressed in this paper using the survey data covering three border sites in Cameroon e.g. Cameroon-Gabon-Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon-Chad-Nigeria, and Cameroon-Nigeria. A number of clear patterns emerge from the analysis. First, we find significant differences in the male-female socio-economic characteristics. Second, opportunities related to ICBT range from the strengthening of regional integration, involvement of women in the decision-making process within households, to the fulfilment of basic needs. Third, negative aspects of ICBT include violence-both physical and psychological and poor childrearing. We finally find gender differentials not only in the constraints faced, but in the coping strategies as well.


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