Exploring the effect of Women Cross-Border Trade (WCBT) on food security in the border towns of the south western Nigeria
Women Cross-border Trade (WCBT) and Informal Cross-border Trade (ICBT) have been synonymously used in the literature. WCBT emphasizes the magnitude of women’s participation in the informal cross-border trading exercise; it also focuses on unrecorded trade and informal economic environment. ICBT ensured food security in most of the border towns of South-western Nigeria since over 90% of the items being sold are agricultural produce. However, implementation of certain stringent trade facilitation reforms aimed at formalising the informal cross-border trade can discourage women from participating in the exercise. There are two immediate consequences for this; increased feminisation of poverty because economic activities of women are undermined thereby worsening gender inequality and increasing their social extinction and marginalisation. Two, food insecurity in the border towns and beyond since the activities of thousands of women who cross border every day to supply food from places with abundance to places with scarcity would be reduced. In the light of the above, this paper intends to explore the effect of women/informal cross-border trade on food security in the border towns of the South-western Nigeria through the employment of rational choice thesis.
Keywords: WCBT, ICBT, Food Security, Gender, Border towns, Rational Choice Theory