Toilets Not Taxes: Gender Inequity in Dar es Salaam’s City Markets

Authors: Marius Siebert & Anna Mbise
Publisher: ICTD
Date: March 2019


Research in Brief 31

This ICTD Research in Brief is a two-page summary of ICTD Working paper 89 by Marius Siebert and Anna Mbise. Are taxation systems in Africa biased against women? This is a hard question to answer and there is very little literature on the topic. Gender biases of personal income tax systems in developed countries have been well documented but play a limited role in the context of developing countries – where only a small proportion of the population is working in the formal sector. Looking at formal employment markets and taxation systems in environments where a high proportion of women earn their living from small scale trading (such as in many African countries) might not reveal all patterns of use or funding of collective goods and services. It may consequently fail to reveal the impact of this on society in general and women in particular. To throw more light on this issue, we examined relative tax burdens of male and female traders in 9 city markets in Dar es Salaam. We started by focusing on taxes because the existing literature implied that this is where we might find gender biases.