Skip to main navigation menu Skip to main content Skip to site footer

Gendered Dimensions of Trade: Evidence from Arunachal Pradesh, India


International trade has traditionally played an essential role in driving women-centric economic empowerment. Women’s participation as owners or managers has remained consistently low over the years. In India's case, a previous study conducted by UNDP revealed that women entrepreneurs preferred engaging in informal cross-border business as it was less risky with no tax burdens and their discomfort in dealing with male customs officials (UNDP, 2016). One of the critical limitations of active business engagement is socio-economic and cultural restriction, especially at the grassroots level. The case in Arunachal Pradesh is no different, as the concept of entrepreneurship of women in this field is a relatively recent phenomenon. In Arunachal Pradesh, the market is mainly controlled by women, yet women's participation in small and medium enterprises is less in number. In this context, the current paper discusses the nature of women entrepreneurs’ role in Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and cross-border trade. It unveils the challenges faced by women entrepreneurs in Arunachal Pradesh and along with industrial and policy-related bottlenecks. The discussion is based on the primary data collected from the women-led/managed/owned MSMEs to study the gender dimensions of trade in Arunachal Pradesh. The findings of the study are that women entrepreneurship primarily gravitates around smaller-sized firms, with most women-led enterprises accounting for micro-enterprises in the formal sector. Like elsewhere in Arunachal Pradesh too, there remain socio-economic and cultural restrictions, especially at the grassroots level. Women lag in terms of awareness about import and export, technology, and dedicated bank accounts.



Entrepreneurship, Gender, Trade, Arunachal Pradesh, India


Author Biography

Kaushalendra Pratap Singh




  1. Beneria, L. (2003). Gender, Development, and Globalisation: Economics as if All People Matters. Routledge.
  2. Boserup, E. (1970). Women’s Role in Economic Development. George Allen and Unwin.
  3. Comité québécois Femmes et développement (CQFD) of Association québécoise des organismes de coopérationinternationale (AQOCI). (2004). Training Kit: Gender and Development.
  4. Census. (2011).
  5. Das, M.B. (2003). The Other Side of Self-Employment: Household Entreprises in India. World Bank Social Protection Discussion Paper No. 318, Washington, DC: World Bank.
  6. Goldsby, T.J., Iyengar, D. & Rao, S. (2014). The Critical Role of Transportation in Business and the Economy. In Definitive Guide to Transportation: The Principles, Strategies, and Decisions for the Effective Flow of Goods and Services.
  7. Jackson, C. & Pearson, R. eds. (1998). Feminist Visions of Development. London: Routledge.
  8. Jaquette, J.S. & Staudt, K. (2006). Women and Gender Equity in Development Theory and Practice. Duke University Press. DOI:
  9. Kabeer, N. (1994). Reversed Realities: Gender Hierarchies in Development Thought. Verso.
  10. Mlambo, C. &Kapingura, F. (2019). Factors influencing women political participation: The case of the SADC region. Cogent Social Sciences, 5 (1). DOI: 10.1080/23311886.2019.1681048 DOI:
  11. Mohammed, A. & Ayah, A. (2019). Importance of Entrepreneurship in Economic Development. Entrepreneurship and Regional Development.
  12. Muyoyeta, L. (2007). Women, Gender and Development .80:20 Educating and Acting for a Better World.
  13. Onyejekwe, C.J. (2004). Economic globalisation and the free market ethos: A gender perspective, Nebula 1(1), 26-31.
  14. Pulla Ventak, Sarmah Gunindra Nath and Nath Hiranya K. (2020). Look/Act East Policy and North East India: Issues, Concerns and Opportunities. In Pulla, Venkat, Bhattacharyya Rituparna & Bhatt Sanjay (eds.). Discrimination, Challenge and Response: People of North East India. Palgrave Macmillan, 161-175. DOI:
  15. Rathgeber E.M. (1990). WID,WAD, GAD: Trends in Research and Practice, The Journal of Developing Areas, 24(4), 489-502.
  16. Sahoo, C. (2020). Women Entrepreneurship in India: An Insight into Problems, Prospects and Development. International Journal of Engineering Research and Technology. 9(9). DOI:
  17. Shah, H. (2013). Creating An Enabling Environment for Women’s Entrepreneurship, UNESCAP.
  18. Taneja, N., Joshi, S., Prakash, S., Bimal, S. (2018). Trade Facilitation Measures to Enhance Participation of Women in Cross-border Trade in BBIN.
  19. Tinker, I. (1990). Persistent Inequalities: Women and World Development. Oxford University Press
  20. Trade Winds of Change - Women Entrepreneurs on the Rise in South Asia, 2016.
  21. Zwart, G. (1992). From Women in Development to Gender and Development, More than a Change in Terminology?, Empowering Women for Gender Equity. 14, 16-21


Download data is not yet available.