UNDP mobilized Women’s efforts to fight for their survival and social security
Twelve women in Deir Kanoun el Nahr, supported by the municipality, were courageous enough to venture into the business world in an area where opportunities, employment and income generation is hardly available. The women Agricultural cooperative in Deir Kanoun Nahr produces various traditional homemade products. They market their produce in Tyre and its surrounding villages.
The cooperative used to participate in local festivals, yet were unable to do so after the war due to financial shortcomings, as well as lack of electricity necessary to use their equipment.
Therefore, the women of Deir Kanoun el Nahr, supported by UNDP, mobilized their efforts to fight for their survival and social security; they were responding to the deepening economic crisis and its impact on rural communities. UNDP supported the cooperative by catering for training workshops, for the procurement of an oven that enables the production of all types of pastries and baked goods, for the provision of an electrical generator allowing cooking operations during working hours, as well as for the provision of a vehicle necessary for transporting goods. The women Cooperative of Deir Kanoun el Nahr attended a three-days training workshop on the production of a traditional type of pastry, which is almond based, called Marzipan. Women of the South still lack the skills in making this type of pastry, while it is more famous in the northern regions of Lebanon.
The cooperative will have the advantage of being one of the few producers of Marzipan in the area, and will work on promoting its nutritional qualities to replace commercial sweets. The workshop brought together the women participants from the South with women trainers from Mount Lebanon; this intercultural session made the women of the cooperative aware of their social and economic predicament, and made them confident of their newly found skills that will lead to the materialization of income-generating programmes.
Efforts by women should be recognized and documented to give evidence of women's Contributions to peace building initiatives. It is crucial for communalities to identify women as Positive role models