Working Paper
The informal sector and the safety of female traders in Tanzania

A reflection of practices, policies, and legislation

This paper assesses the participation of female traders, safety factors, and existing policies and legislation in the informal sector in Tanzania. Primary data were obtained from 11 in-depth interviews, 10 focused group discussions, and 236 structured questionnaires. The primary data were triangulated with secondary information from various reports, national policies, and relevant legislation.

It was noted that female traders participate in various informal trades, including stone quarrying, selling accessories and ornaments, food vending, and cloth and garment making. However, they experience unfavourable trading conditions and limited access to finance and business development services.

Despite the existence of national policies and legislation that address female traders in the informal sector, there is a gap between stated policies and legislation and actual practices. The recommendation includes better trading premises with proper sanitation and easier access to financial services, upgraded business skills, and business development services to ensure sustainable incomes and productive employment in the informal sector.