Why a Gender Strategy?

A gender strategy helps in the translation of the symbolic commitment to gender equality and women’s empowerment into substantive and actionable entry points. It expressly states actionable guidelines on how to implement and manage gender activities and outcomes including tracking progress over time.

Cross border trade represents an activity that is appropriate to mainstream gender. The activity itself is gendered in so many ways:

Since time immemorial, female mobility was abhorred; Women constitute the bulk of cross border traders (above 70%)

Goods traded are in some cases different for male and female traders; Access to credit and other facilities differ by gender;

Access to information is affected by differences in literacy rates between males and females; Ignorance of trade regulations by the majority of women;

Complex procedures and documents;

Sexual harassment and insecurity during travel; Poor border infrastructure to support hygiene.

Improved conditions for men and women in cross border trade can represent a strategic objective towards achievement of gender equality and women empowerment in matters of economic empowerment in the countries concerned.

It is also crucially important to recognize that cross border trade in all the countries in SACBTA, is simultaneously as much an economic as it is a social enterprise. People often recognize the economic importance of cross border trade at national level. However, what is less appreciated is that at household level, the activity is very much a social enterprise that is deeply nested in existing cultural norms. Cultural norms dictate gender roles, distribute rights and privileges, and locate power to own, manage, access, and control resources. Therefore, for SACBTA, the starting point should always be to understand how and in what contexts gender norms constrain and or facilitate cross border trade. Gender integration into SACBTA and in cross border trade is ultimately about providing equal opportunities to men, women, youth and other vulnerable groups. This gender strategy therefore goes beyond looking at gender from a perspective of numbers of men and women to start to understand the implications of each and every step in the procedures, processes and practices and their impacts.

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Special acknowledgement and appreciation goes also to the cross border traders for their invaluable time and critical views in providing insights during the consultative processes. SACBTA extends its appreciation and gratitude to the many individuals who provided technical review and offered suggestions and contributions to the development of this strategy.

SACBTA President
SACBTA President, Sudecar Novera

Latest News


    Southern Africa Cross Border Traders Association (SACBTA) has finally employed a Gender Development officer. Mrs Mary Malunga will be stationed at the head office in Harare Zimbabwe. This is one intent of the organisation to explore means of facilitating cross border trade in SADC region. SACBTA with support from OSISA is implementing ampllyfication of women


    PRESS STATEMENT ON XENOPHOBIA IN SOUTH AFRICA 19th September 2019. Southern Africa Cross Border Traders Association (SACBTA) is greatly perturbed by the recurring of xenophobic attacks in South Africa. Burning and killing of foreign nationals and truck drivers in cold blood and in broad day light makes sad reading. As the region SADC is faced

  • Malawi implements SADC STR awareness workshop

    The Simplified Trade Regime and Gender workshop was organised by Cross Border Traders Association with support from OSISA through Southern Africa Cross Border Traders Association. The purpose for the workshop was to identify key challenges on implementation of Simplified Trade Regime and Gender issues in Cross Border Trade. The workshop draw 60 delegates from Public