Corruption, sexual harassment stifle women cross-border’s efforts

CORRUPTION, sexual harassment by customs officials as well as lack of knowledge have been mentioned as strong barriers facing women in cross border trade, hence, hindering their efforts to embark on the lucrative international business.

They were airing their views over the weekend in Dar es Salaam during a forum on Prospects and Challenges for Crossborder Women Traders between Uganda and Tanzania organized by the United Nations Women (UN Women).

The women appealed for immediate solutions to let them expand their business for personal and national benefits.

Mtukula Platform Secretary- General for Tanzania Women Chambers of Commerce, Ms Paskazia Sebastian, commented that most women traders know little about cross-border business and they usually get frustrated when they reach the boarders.

“Some have been reporting the evils, especially sexual harassment but it becomes very difficult to continue to stand up for their complaints since the cases need tangible pieces of evidence to prove. Sometimes the women are afraid of pursuing it further due to the sensitivity of the matter,” she added.

The UN Women Representative, Ms Hodan Addou, presented that cross-border women traders’ vulnerability to sexual exploitation does not only cause economic setbacks but also put them at risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV .

She said that the forum was meant to share ideas and form interventions that can make Tanzania-Uganda border posts women friendly and promote trade and investment between the two countries.

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