Oasis territories in Tunisia have undergone major changes in recent years due to climate change, which affects the health of populations and their way of life. According to the UN, women are the most concerned by this phenomenon.
To deepen this question, "La Ruche de la citoyenneté active" (The Hive of Active Citizenship association) conducted a field diagnosis on the impact of climate change on the economic empowerment of oasis women in Tozeur (Tunisia). This study covered the 6 delegations of the governorate of Tozeur and directly involved the Regional Commissary for Agricultural Development of Tozeur, the Regional Commissary for Women, Family and Children of Tozeur (CRAFFE), the Tunisian General Labour Union in Tozeur, Women’s Entreprise for Sustainability (WES), radio Djerid FM and the Higher Institute of Technological Studies (ISET) of Tozeur.
The diagnosis focused on measures to increase women’s economic empowerment in Tozeur and ensure resilient and climate-resilient regional development. Thus, between March and July 2018, La Ruche organized focus groups that brought together institutional and civic actors, it also did some interviews with public institutions and unions, a few surveys with several associations, trade unions and Agricultural Development Groups (GDA), and an interview with women leaders (elected municipal women and association leaders).
At the end of these consultations, as well as a bibliographic search and a documentary analysis, the gender equality actors of the region of Tozeur brought out several observations:
- Women contribute to valorize the products of palm groves: sorting, filling and packaging of dates, on the one hand, conservation and transformation into local products (eg: date syrup, date paste, date vinegar) and crafts (basketry from the reeds), on the other hand.
To provide an answer, La Ruche de la citoyenneté active à Tozeur has been carrying out since the beginning of September 2018 a field project aimed at strengthening the resilience of oasis women in the face of climate change and improving the incomes of women artisans through the promotion of local know-how and products that result from it (gastronomy, crafts ...). This project provides training for local elected officials and members of the civil society of Tozeur on gender and climate change, the production and dissemination of videos and radio programs on traditional dishes in connection with the biodiversity of oases, or the design and distribution of a catalog to facilitate the marketing of local products developed by women in the region of Tozeur.
This initiative is part of the field projects developed by the local clusters of gender equality actors© set up by the Euro-Mediterranean Women’s Foundation since 2015. It is part of the "Reinforcing the capacity of equality actors" project, funded by the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs (MEAE) and coordinated by the European Institute of the Mediterranean (IEMed). This action is also part of the project "Developing women’s empowerment", labeled by the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM).
This platform is part of the Axis 1 "Strengthening the capacities of equality actors" of the Priority Solidarity Fund "Women for the future in the Mediterranean" funded by the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs and led by the European Institute of the Mediterranean, in the framework of the project “Developing Women's Empowerment” labelled by the Union for the Mediterranean.