Beekeeping Helps Disadvantaged Women in Tunisia
Women helping women to escape dire poverty, marginalization, and in some cases such fates as being subjected to human trafficking, is the theme of today’s blog post.
Mariem Cherni founded Tunisia’s ‘Bee Treasures’ initiative, for the purpose of helping such marginalized women to launch their way to a better life in the field of beekeeping, which is an agricultural business.
As one woman is raised up out of poverty, she turns around and helps other women to break into the world of beekeeping as well. The entire project seems very much like the bees themselves, since all female worker bees work tirelessly for the common good of the queen and her hive.
Here is a 2:36-minute tweeted video from Twitter about this Bee Treasures initiative project:
ICYMI: Tunisia's 'Bee Treasures' initiative, founded by Mariem Cherni, aims to bring marginalized and disadvantaged women together in the field of beekeeping and help them launch their agricultural businesses pic.twitter.com/G5E2UpCaQC— Reuters (@Reuters) March 19, 2022
These women who have become ecological beekeepers are being called Tunisia’s Queen Bees by many.
In 2016, Mariem Cherni left her job in the oil sector. She opened a small ecological bee farm. The next step in her plan was that she founded the ‘Bee Treasures’ initiative. This project helps women in need to learn beekeeping and then launch their businesses, thus empowering them in a way they never experienced before.
Cherni got off to a rough start. As a woman farmer, she had no land and had a hard time securing any financing. She had only herself to rely on. The beekeepers were all men. They were not helpful. They did not take her seriously and tried to dissuade her by saying she would not be able to carry heavy hives or go into the mountains. Those same men now call her for advice. She is proud of her tenacity and endurance, and that she did not give up.
A Tunisian activist and agricultural engineer called Souad Mahmoud has stated that only 4 percent of women in Tunisia own land or agriculture businesses. She says people do not rent their lands to women and therefore it is a major challenge for women to get into the agricultural business. She is a proponent of women owning their own land. She points out that in the culture of Tunisia a woman’s inheritance is only half of what a man receives, and that even if she takes her legacy, she does not inherit the land, olive trees, or any agricultural land.
This in effect keeps women from being able to empower themselves by land ownership.
The team that Cherni leads hopes to help change some these patterns so more women can have access to the lands they need to start and run their own businesses.
The ‘Bee Treasures’ initiative was created to help women, to encourage them to step into decision-making and to guide them as they start their own agricultural projects so they can succeed. They are entitled to have successful businesses if that’s what they want. The concept that they must stay at home just because they are women needs to change.
This project is worthy of support, should anyone feel called to assist them even just in getting the word out. It is similar to many posts we have made recently about how women in many African countries are getting ahead thanks to bees.
We sincerely wish these ladies and their bees well, and let us hope that the winged ladies of the hives bring them much success, independence, and prosperity.
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