Turkish women beekeepers to lead organic revolution

More than 10,000,000 women live in rural parts of Turkey, and although Turkey has one of the world’s lowest employment rates for women (22%), women are working full-time (albeit unpaid) while they care for their large families and run small family farms. But in these remote villages, they are cut off from the city centers, so there are limited opportunities to translate this labor into income, educational opportunities, or professional development.

Organic beekeeping, particularly in rural untouched areas such as Northeastern Turkey is an ideal livelihood for women, because women are stable –therefore not moving their bees into areas with harmful crops or pesticides– and beekeeping can be done right from their backyards without taking away too much time from raising a family.

However, in a place like Turkey, where the word “organic” does not yet have clear quantifiable meaning; where these rural villages are isolated from local markets; where producing organic honey yields small amounts; where most of the women beekeepers we are targeting –those at the bottom of the pyramid– do not have an education past 6th grade; these women have a hard time competing in a domestic market full of honey.

Read more at Elephant Journal


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