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Empowering women in Guinea Bissau in the salt industry

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International Women's Day (IWD)

The women of the community of Ponta Zé Henrique in Guinea-Bissau may not be aware that Monday is International Women's Day. but they do know that if they do not produce salt, they will have nothing to eat.

They work day to day to produce the fine mineral - and each kilo sells for 50 cents in Bissau or Quinhamel.

Upon coming to know of these hardworking women, this member of parliament and lawyer Salomé dos Santos hired an association to teach the women how to produce more salt by way of less work.

Salomé dos Santos explains how the initiative came about.

"I decided to support these women because I was walking in my community and I saw that they have great difficulties in the work they do. And one of the difficulties is salt work, which is very difficult".

In this community, it is the women who support their households.

The lawyer outlines the current state of affairs.

"It's the women who support their children, they pay for their children's schooling, they do almost everything. And at this stage of the cashew campaign, they go first to the cashew and then to salt. With this training, their lives will become easier".

The new technique consists of producing salt by exposure to the sun instead of heating water with firewood.

In the traditional way, a person receives 20 to 30 kilos every 72 hours and cuts down trees.

With this new technique, 100 kilos are produced and there is more time for other tasks.