Bruised and battered: the struggles of older female informal traders in urban areas of Zimbabwe since the economic reforms

R. Mupedziswa

Abstract


In Zimbabwe, the Economic Structural Adjustment Programme (ESAP) launched in 1990 with the goal of improving the living standards of the people, has had the opposite effect in that it has caused untold financial hardship, particularly among marginalized groups. In the wake of the difficulties, many individuals have turned to the informal sector for survival. Traditional informal-sector operators, who include older women as well as new entrants, in particular retrenched formal-sector workers and school leavers, find themselves jostling for space in the new harsh economic environment characterized by austerity. These developments have resulted in the informal sector being saturated, compromising whatever viability the sector may have commanded. A group whose activities have been most negatively affected is older female informal traders. This paper analyses the plight of older female informal-sector traders and concludes that the women need assistance to enable them to survive and to remain self-reliant.

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.21504/sajg.v8i1.211

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