In recent years argan oil has become a phenomenon that hit the world like crazy. In Morocco though, argan oil has been a household name for centuries. Moroccan families have been using this oil for their hair, skin, nails, and even for their cooking and health. And why not? Argan oil is known for its high content of antioxidants, vitamins, and unsaturated fatty acids. Able to clear skin, nourish hair, and make nails strong, argan oil is also known for its unique nutty taste and positive effects on health. Known to lower cholesterol and blood pressure, a small amount of argan oil will keep one healthy and beautiful.
THE WOMEN OF MOROCCO
What have become less popular though are the women of Morocco who gather and produce this magnificent oil. Local women known as the Berber women, take charge in gathering the fruits from which this oil is derived from. They open the fruits, take out the seeds, gather the kernels, dry, roast, press the oil out, and pack the argan oil. It is because of these women that argan oil has become known and is able to be enjoyed by people from different countries.
EMPOWERING THE BERBER WOMEN
With the big role that the Berber women have on the production of argan oil, it is but normal for them to be empowered by it. Because of argan oil, these women are able to have luxuries they did not use to have. Equal opportunities with their male counterparts, equal rights, right to education, and most important of all, they now have the power to provide for their families. Every bottle of oil made and produced from Morocco is helping a Berber woman feed her family. This reason alone, added to all the benefits argan oil has on health, skin, hair, and nails – makes purchasing even a small bottle of argan oil so worth it!
Because of the increase in world demand for argan oil, women cooperatives were set up not just to help the Berber women with the production and distribution of the oil. Cooperatives were made to protect the source of the oil itself – the argan trees. With increased demand, production also increases, putting the source in danger. Cooperatives then were made to make sure that the trees and their fruits are not exploited and over harvested. More trees are being planted to ensure continuous supply of oil and continuous work for the Berber women.
FAIR-TRADE AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
These are just two of the most important aspects of women empowerment in Morocco. Because of argan oil, women are able to be guaranteed a competitive salary. They are taught with the help of the cooperatives about environmental programs, business skills, and they are now able to actively participate in decision making processes.
The women of Morocco are able to reap the benefits of argan oil by sharing with the world how great this oil is. With all of its rich components, argan oil is able to help beautify and make the body healthy. As argan oil empowers the women of Morocco, it is also empowering the people who use it.