Egypt Women peasants form historic union

Sarah Raslan, Tuesday 25 Oct 2011

The first union for women in the agriculture sector was formed in Imbaba's Werdan village, in Giza governorate, in a step which promises to empower female agriculture workers

more than 4 million women work in the agriculture in Egypt (Photo by: Better Life for Full Developme
More than 4 million women work in the agriculture in Egypt (Photo: Better Life for Full Development Institution)

Female workers in Egypt's agriculture sector will have their voices heard after a group of women from the Imbaba district's Werdan village formed the first union for women farmers in Egypt this week. 

The Egyptian agriculture sector employs approximately four million women. 

The historic initiative for women peasants came after Minister of Manpower Ahmed El-Borai acknowledged the right to form unions, as it had been illegal for women in the sector to form any sort of association or union before the January 25 Revolution. 

According to a press release on 23 October, the new union said it hopes to expand membership as it spreads across the country, promising to defend women's rights within the sector and ensure equal treatment between women peasants and their male counterparts. 

According to a 2008 study on the economic participation of women in Egypt by the American University in Cairo, women in the agriculture sector suffer from unequal wages, and their role in agriculture is viewed by men as merely part of their cultural duties as housewives.

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