Rural Women Empowerment One of Priorities of Syrian Government Development Programs

The Syrian government is keen on adopting strategic national plans and procedures to strengthen and boost Syrian women’s participation in the country’s development process.

Rural women empowerment has been one of the top priorities of the development program of the Syrian government. This was crystallized in the government’s commitment to consolidating rural woman’s role as key partners in all aspects of life.

Shedding light on the situation of rural woman in Lattakia province, Syriatimes e-newspaper visited the Permanent Marketing Center of rural woman’s products, which was opened in 2017 with the aim of supporting and introducing the products of the rural women.

This non-profit center displays a wide-range of hand-made products including food industries, traditional handcrafts, cosmetic made of natural plants, textiles and clothes.

The syriatimes e-newspaper met several rural women, who are benefiting from the center through marketing their hand-made products there. The center’s activities revenues go to the participating rural women.

Creating hope from land

 “Fate has granted me the honor to be a mother of a martyr, whose blood watered the sacred Syrian   soil. The martyrdom of my son in al-Qadam in Damascus, during the Syrian crisis, has turned me into a creative woman.  I managed to overcome sadness by working.This turned despair into hope and sadness to optimism”. Mrs. Emtethal Jafi from the northern countryside of Lattakia said.

“I have decided to make medical oil soap made from natural plants to treat different kinds of skin diseases mainly vitiligo, psoriasis and eczema and offer them free to the Syrian army wounded   personnel”. She added.

“  My participation at the permanent marketing center   has given me hope again  to  produce something useful  for my country ,  enhance my presence and improve my income especially that I have been displaced with my family from the northern countryside of Lattakia due to terrorism” she stressed.

Mrs. Zainab Sabouh, who is interested in manufacturing shampoo  and cosmetics made of natural oil  plants , underscored that rural woman throughout ages has had her own  distinguished presence  and vital role in society.

“ the  Permanent Marketing Centre  is of great importance  as it empowers rural women   financially  and socially and  raises   awareness about the importance of  using medical and aromatic plants and  reviving the medical heritage, especially Lattakia’s countryside  is famous for the diversity of natural plants.

 “the permanent Marketing Center witnesses a noticeable turnout  by  people and the value of sales increases constantly  compared with previous years “ according to  Mrs. Sabouh .

She also praised rural women’s participation in several exhibition including  the 61st  session of Damascus International fair , the citrus festival ,  the environmental exhibition, “rural woman”  festival , which are considered as a platform for promoting and marketing  rural women’s products .

On her part, Eng. Rabab Wardeh, Head of the Rural Women’s Development Department at the Lattakia’s Directorate of Agriculture said “undoubtedly, women are an integral part of today’s society and it is crucial to recognize their vital role in sustainable development”.

Talking about the department’s goals, Eng. Wardeh pointed out that the department’s plans aim at empowering rural women socially, economically and financially, creating job opportunities through implementing local projects to improve rural women’s living conditions and achieve the hoped-for sustainable rural development.

 “ the department is keen on constant communication with rural women through carrying out training programs and courses , guidance symposiums to get them acquainted with various skills and make use of nature plants , food industries and traditional handicrafts of which Syria is famous” Eng Wardeh said.

Family Agriculture Project 

“ under the title of “ let’s plant every inch of Syria” the ministry of agriculture launched in 2016 the Family Agriculture Project in all Syrian provinces in cooperation with FAO, WFP UNDP , which aims at revitalizing the country’s agriculture policy and achieving self-sufficiency and  increasing rural families’ income”. Eng Wardeh indicated.

She stressed that the rural women’s products are produced under the supervision of the agriculture ministry which set up a national record to enroll   the rural women’s projects in a step to enable them to get an official license for supporting their products.

“A number of official   delegations from Arab and foreign countries including Russia, Britain, the republic of Crimean, Sudan, Iran, Lebanon and Japan visited the permanent marketing center for rural women’s products and highly appreciated this successful experience by the rural women who proved that they are able to invest in agriculture to create job opportunities, compete with the markets in terms of price and quality and preserve Syria’s deep-rooted heritage at all levels” Eng. Wardeh concluded.

 

 

Interviewed by : Rawaa Ghanam

Photos by : Rawaa Ghanam

 

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