Trade in reed-based craft products in rural villages in Eastern Cape, South Africa
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This article reflects on the importance of trading in resource-based products, particular for the rural poor of which women are the majority in Cape, South Africa. Natural resources-based products such as mats, baskets and beer strainers can provide a safety net for highly vulnerable rural women. Traditional crafts offer rural women a possible source of income. This study shows that access to markets is a major factor limiting women traders to succeed. Women's lack of mobility forces many to use "middlemen" who often exploit them. Women use this income to pay for food, and education costs. Rural traders show advantages in areas such as indigenous knowledge about the resource, control over resources, proximity to resources, and knowledge over local markets. A combination of qualitative and quantitative methods was used in this study, and simple descriptive statistics were used to summarize the data.