Gender analysis of forest product markets in Cameroon
Pérez, M. R.
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Since the 1970s research has been showing women as a valuable African economic source. This article describes a gender analysis highlighting different market dynamics between men and women in forest products markets in the humid Forest Zone of Cameroon. Women represent between 30 to 80 percent of traders, even though they are disadvantaged due to time, mobility, access, and education constrictions. Women are involved in a variety of Non Timber Forest Products (NTFP). Results show that gender is a determinant factor related to the size of business, product specialization and market strategies among traders. Men dominate the wholesale market and the export sector, while women seem to play a determinant role in collecting and distributing forest products and managing the marketplace. Profit margins show no differences between genders. This reveals that given equal rights, conditions, and opportunities in trading women can be as successful as men. Results also indicate a narrower gender gap among the younger generations. This study is a result of fieldwork conducted by the authors. A total of 426 traders were interviewed in 25 markets from the five provinces of the HFZ (East, Centre, South West, Littoral, and South).