Southern Africa: “Cross-border is our livelihood. It is our job.” Decent work as a human right for women informal cross-border traders in Southern Africa

Informal Cross border trade (ICBT), valued at USD 17.6 billion in 2018 and constituting 30-40% of total trade in Southern Africa, is predominantly led by women. However, these women face challenges hindering their empowerment, inclusion, and right to decent work. The report “Cross-border is our livelihood. It is our job.” sheds light on human rights violations against women in ICBT in Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Notably, the failure to protect against Gender-based violence and the inadequacy in fulfilling the right to social security are highlighted. Southern African governments must address these failures and prioritize the rights of women in ICBT.

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