The women of Hadhramaut split the land in search of their livelihood
An arduous and strenuous process that the women of “Mayfaa” in Hadramout go through in the stage of extracting salt from the ground, by distributing roles among them at work.
Hadramout – Every morning, the women of the Al-Hassi area in Mayfa’ in the district of Broum (65 kilometers west of Mukalla, the administrative center of Hadhramaut governorate in eastern Yemen) pack their belongings on foot, traveling more than 5 kilometers from their homes to reach the salt basins, where about 500 women live in the area. .
At seven in the morning, Sahela Baari leaves her home towards the coast of the region, where the salt pans are located, to spend hours digging the ground with her co-workers, a profession she inherited from her fathers who have been working in this profession for decades.
digging salt pans
An arduous and strenuous process that the women of Mayfa’a in Hadramout go through the stage of extracting salt from the ground, by distributing roles among them at work.
According to Sahala, work begins by digging salt basins by some working women through a simple hole in which there is a quantity of pure water, which according to Sahala’s description turns into many colors after days from blue to red and then white, after which the sedimentation process takes place in the basins after leaving it. days in the sunshine.
In the region, there are 350 basins owned by some women, inherited from their ancestors, while another thousand women work seven days a week, except for Fridays. The work is divided between them by 15 days for each team.
Female workers in the salt pans face many obstacles; Sanaa Assas, who works in one of the region’s basins, says – in an interview with Al Jazeera Net – that they suffer from the difficulty of transporting salt from the place of production to the association’s headquarters through the appearance of donkeys, and “then it is ground at the association’s headquarters and the women pay a sum of money for that.”
According to Assas, the hard work and the lack of modern drilling equipment prompted the female workers to divide the work among them through two groups during the month before the salt was transported, ground and marketed through an association for the production of sea salt in the area.
She added that obtaining sea salt does not continue throughout the year, as it is produced twice in the summer and 3 times in the winter, while the production of the autumn season causes them problems to lose if there is no transportation available for them to transport it.
Marketing association lacks capabilities
Khamis Hatrush, head of the Sensory Association for the production of sea salt in Mayfa’, Hadramout, told Al Jazeera Net; The establishment of the association dates back to January 2020 with the aim of organizing and assisting working women in marketing their product to other governorates, to achieve a return commensurate with the amount of effort expended by the women who formed the association, who lack the capabilities to raise the level of workers in the basins.
Hatrush stresses that the production depends on traditional and primitive methods without isolating the mud when producing; Where salt is extracted and filtered on the ground and under the heat of the sun, difficulties are added to the difficulty of transportation, extraction tools and product packaging.
During the war years, female employment decreased by 28%, as a statistic of the International Labor Organization reveals the loss of 293,000 women working in the field of agriculture, animal husbandry and dairy products, at a time when it constitutes 62% of those who obtained a university degree as part of the labor force, according to the International Labor Organization.