Gender and the Formal and Informal Systems of Local Public Finance in Sierra Leone
This paper considers how men and women in eastern and northern Sierra Leone interact differently with formal and informal revenue collection. It argues that the literature on tax and gender equity needs to be expanded in low-income countries to pay greater attention to the ways that citizens pay for public services in practice. It shows that formal taxation affects a very small proportion of the population, and especially of the female population. The reality is that women primarily pay for services at the local level through informal revenue contributions, which has the potential to reinforce gender inequities on account of the implications for intra-household divisions of power and lack of associated opportunities for political representation.