Research Article Open Access

Women in Informal Trade Amidst COVID-19: SOA Market Cameroon

Tlholohelo Mojakisane1, Brivery Siamabele2, Matildah Kaliba2 and Rudo Phiri Mumba2
  • 1 Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Institute of Governance, Pan African University, SOA, Cameroon
  • 2 Department of Development Studies, the University of Zambia, Lusaka, Zambia

Abstract

SARS-CoV-2, which stands for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, became a global health emergency in 2019. Even though the pandemic reached the African continent relatively late in 2020, it had already been terrorizing other parts of the world. In wake of the COVID-19, trade restrictions were imposed and affected the traders across the continent, but the impacts were enormous particularly on women in informal trade as they have weak fallback strategies. The study aimed to review the COVID-19 impacts on informal women traders around the SOA market of Yaoundé. The authors used both the questionnaire and interview guide to collect information from the informal traders. Results showed that the COVID-19 pandemic affected nearly all the traders with a disproportionately heavy impact on women due to their lack of a sustainable supply of commodities. While some traders accessed their merchandise from the main markets in Yaoundé, a majority of them relied on commodities sourced from rural areas surrounding the SOA market. However, purchasing goods from Yaoundé town markets posed challenges such as increased transportation costs, significantly impacting the affordability of their businesses. Moreover, buying vegetables from rural areas became more expensive as the fear of COVID-19 infection reduced the number of suppliers, leading to increased prices by those who continued to supply. Based on the findings, the study emphasizes the urgent need for Africa specifically Cameroon, to develop effective risk management mechanisms to mitigate such challenges and safeguard the livelihoods of women. These mechanisms should be designed to address the vulnerabilities faced by informal women traders during times of crisis, ensuring their economic resilience and well-being.

Journal of Social Sciences
Volume 19 No. 1, 2023, 96-105

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3844/jssp.2023.96.105

Submitted On: 28 April 2023 Published On: 19 January 2024

How to Cite: Mojakisane, T., Siamabele, B., Kaliba, M. & Mumba, R. P. (2023). Women in Informal Trade Amidst COVID-19: SOA Market Cameroon. Journal of Social Sciences, 19(1), 96-105. https://doi.org/10.3844/jssp.2023.96.105

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Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Commodities
  • Informal Trade
  • Livelihoods and Purchasing Power