Women in many West African countries are famous for their numerical dominance and powerful organisations in several branches of the informal economy. In many other parts of Africa, women have been less visible and powerful in their economic positions. With the dramatic political and economic reforms that African countries are going through gender relations in the informal economies are changing. The project investigates the articulation between culture-specific ideas about gender-appropriate behaviour and structural conditions shaped by state policies and globalisation. Comparable surveys have been conducted in Accra (Ghana), Kampala (Uganda) and Dar es Salaam (Tanzania). The focus of the analysis is 1) on the emergence, historically, of differently gendered informal economies in the selected countries and regions and 2) on the impact of structural changes and economic crises on gender relations and gender ideologies in these informal economies.