A Research Journal of Commerce, Economics, and Social Sciences
Online ISSN: 2410-0854
Print ISSN: 1996-2800

Paradigms Journal

Ndau Women, Informal Cross-Border Trade and the Changing Socio-Economic Dispensation in Zimbabwe
Author(s) :
SAMSON MUTSAGONDO (Department of Information Science, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa)
EDITH KARIMANZIRA (Department of Peace, Leadership and Conflict Resolution, Zimbabwe Open University, Bindura, Zimbabwe)
JENNIPHER MAKANGA (Department of Commercial Studies, Sarah Bata Senior School, Gweru, Zimbabwe)

Socio-economic challenges that have be-devilled post-independent Zimbabwe have resulted in many women embracing Informal Cross-Border Trade (ICBT) on a full-time basis. While many ethnic Shona women engaged in ICBT as early as the 1980s and 1990s, Ndau women remained aloof and began to actively participate in the trade mainly after 2000, prompting a study into factors leading to this sudden change in socio-cultural and entrepreneurial behavior. The study used a survey research design where data were collected through questionnaires, interviews and observation from women cross-border traders, men and traditional leaders from Chipinge South. The study revealed that social and economic hardships compelled Ndau women to move out of the cocoons and actively participate in ICBT. At the same time, men reluctantly loosened their patriarchy-inspired grip as they now saw women as partners in economic life rather than as mere flowers in a garden. The study recommended the removal of remaining socio-cultural and economic fetters on Ndau women, men’s active support for women cross-border traders and the crafting of laws that promote ICBT in general and women cross-border trade in particular.

Keywords: Entrepreneurship, Informal Cross Border Trade, Ndau Women, Women Cross- Border Trade, Zimbabwe

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