Cover Image
close this bookWomen in Informal Sector (Dar Es Salaam University Press, 1995, 46 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
close this folderINTRODUCTION
View the documentWhat is an Informal Sector?
View the documentThe Jua Kali Concept
View the documentSmall is Great
close this folderTHE STUDY OF THE INFORMAL SECTOR
View the documentThe Dualistic Approach
View the documentThe Place of the Informal Sector and Development
close this folderWOMEN IN THE INFORMAL SECTOR
View the documentA Historical Note
View the documentWhy Women Enter Into The Informal Sector?
close this folderWho Are the Women in the Informal Sector?
View the documentThe Class Connotation
View the documentAge
View the documentEducation
close this folderTHE SOCIAL DIMENSION
View the document(introduction...)
close this folderThe Limits
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentEducation and Time
View the documentMarkets
View the documentWork Burden
View the documentSecurity and Health
View the documentFirewood Collection
View the documentOpen Space Cooking
View the documentBeer Brewing
View the documentFeminization of Poverty
close this folderINTERNATIONALIZATION OF POVERTY
View the documentLords of Poverty
View the documentInappropriate Technology
View the documentCONCLUSION
View the documentSELECTED REFERENCES
View the documentBACK COVER

Age

Most of the women who are engaged in the informal sector, are relatively young. Out of the 300 women surveyed, 100 from Arusha, 100 from Moshi, 80 from Dar es Salaam and 20 from Mwanga; almost three quarters 220 or (73.3%), were of the age group between 18-35. The majority, 160 or (53.3%) were in the 18-30 age group.

The involvement of relatively young women in the informal sector is influenced by type and nature of the activities involved. While doing research in Moshi and Mwanga, old women who were involved in the informal business told me that there are young women who go as far as Taveta to buy items for their businesses. The same happened in Arusha during the time of shortages in 1980s where some of the women travelled to Namanga to buy some items from neighbouring Kenya.

In Dar es Salaam, it was a mixed bag with regard to the age structure. Although many of the young women did their business in market places, selling food items such as maize floor, some of them were selling local beer. Very few upper class(middle class) young women, in fact none in Dar e salaam, did this kind of business. This leads us to the conclusion that those in the middle and upper middle class engage in the informal business activities which involves big capital. Most of the young women do not have enough capital, are poor and have no accessibility to formal financial or lending institutions. It can also be deduced from the field data and observation made that there is a close relationship between age and capital formation among the women in the informal sector. The older the woman, the higher the possibility of being able to carry out the informal business profitably.

But it is not age alone that contributes to the accumulation of capital. Marital status also matters. While the majority (31) among the young women in the informal sector in Manzese and Buguruni in Dar es Salaam (N=48) were either singles or divorcees, the majority of the women in the upper class in Dar es Salaam were married and had support from their husbands in acquiring capital.