The number of women’s cooperatives empowering women living in the southeastern part of Turkey to make money by selling what they produce is increasing every day. However, they do not have any space to sell their products.
Recently, the number of women’s cooperatives in the southeastern part of Turkey has increased. The common problem of these cooperatives aiming to empower women living in rural areas is the lack of a special space to sell the products of the women. This problem prevents women from selling their products across Turkey. NuJINHA spoke to the members of several women’s cooperatives. They told us that municipalities should support women entrepreneurs by allocating special spaces for them to sell their products.
They sell their products on social media platforms
Malatya Women’s Entrepreneurship, Production and Business Cooperative member Günay Akça told us the cooperative was formed in 2019 by eight women. The cooperative now has 70 members. Stating that the members of the cooperative produce organic products from ancestry seeds in three farms, Günay Akça said that they sell their organic products on social media platforms since they do not have a space to sell them.
“Women in rural areas should be supported”
The members of the cooperative are also affected by the economic crisis in Turkey. Complaining about the decrease in sales, Günay Akça said that the women living in rural areas face challenges in selling their products. Calling on the government and municipalities to support women producers, Günay Akça said, “I think there should be cooperatives in every city of Turkey. In order to create healthy generations, we should grow more natural products. The women farmers living in rural areas play an important role in growing natural products. For this reason, the government should pave the way for cooperatives. More projects should be developed to support women farmers. The women living in rural areas should be supported because they cannot market their products.”
“Women feel more confident”
Nermin Akbalık lives in the Türktaner village of Dersim’s Hozat district. She produces jam along with 10 women and they want to start a cooperative. These women also suffer from the lack of a space to sell their products. “As women, we feel more confident by taking part in production. We worked hard to have our own economic independence. We are lucky because we can sell our products across Turkey. However, the women living in rural areas cannot sell their products because they do not have a special space to sell their products. Now, we want to start our cooperative to promote our products more.”
“Women produce but men earn”
Underlining that projects should be developed for women to support them, Nermin Akbalık said, “Many women depend on men now. Women produce but men earn because men sell the products produced by women. One of the biggest challenges we face now is the lack of a space or market area to sell our products. We ask support from the government and municipalities to allocate a space for us. Our enterprise is the first enterprise that produces jam in the region. We struggle to start a cooperative in the village.”
Unfortunately the video below does not contain English subtitles.