Recognizing The Women's Legacy Behind The Brand
For centuries, the hard work of extracting oil from the nut of the argan tree (Commonly known as Argania/Argania Spinosa) has been a female affair, specifically Berber women the indigenous people of Morocco, many of whom cannot read nor write. The work is extremely labour intensive. It can take one woman up to eight hours to crack the nuts for one litre of oil. Since the creation of cooperatives, many of them are then grouped in order to have a stable and recognised job, a job that is their only source of income This provides the women with an opportunity for social and economic freedom that they would not otherwise have.
As a testament to their inner and outer beauty, Some of their stories are shared here.
Izza is one of the senior members of the cooperative at 80 years old. She has worked at the cooperative since it was founded 11 years ago. While her stern expression at first intimidates me, I find her to be hysterically funny and kind as we talk.
Zahra, whose name means flower in Arabic, is a 61 year old widow with 7 children, one of which is physically handicapped. The money Zahra earns working in the co-op supports her large family
Aarbia claims to be 70, but doesn’t know her age exactly. With no children of her own, Aarbia has adopted her 30 year old niece so that she has someone to care for her in her old age, but Aarbia says that her niece will soon find a husband and move out.