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SEAL review its record in rural women empowerment


The Social Economic Action for Lebanon (SEAL) conducted last week an assessment of the main achievements implemented chiefly by the women cooperatives in rural areas. SEAL, an initiative founded by Lebanese expatriates 20 years ago to help the most disadvantaged local communities, is currently supporting around 120 projects in rural neighborhoods in the fields of agriculture, agro-food industries, irrigation and water. Its prime focus is empowerment of women to facilitate their access to the labor market. On the subject, L’Orient Le Jour newspaper outlined some of the works implemented by the SEAL- backed Wadi el Taim Cooperative in Rashaya, which employs some 26 women. With the aid of cutting-edge equipment, the coop secured nearly 18% of the production cost and increased its monthly output from 200 kgs in 2016 to 2 tons this year, the newspaper wrote. Ikram, one woman worker at the Coop, boasted that now she has greater confidence in herself, while her colleague, Siham, said she has become independent and contributes to household expenses. In the same vein, Father Milad Makhlouf who manages St Charbel Coop in Bcharri, said the cooperative has provided jobs for local women, pointing to some 14 women working in the agro-food section. Another worker in Jezzine women agro-food coop (with about 53 female laborers) mentioned that work has made them sturdier and more confident. (L’Orient Le Jour, August 9, 2017)

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