Yemeni Women and the Economic Siege: Challenges and Opportunities
By Sarraa Al-Shahari
The Saudi-US aggression is trying to remove Yemen from the world map using all tools of destruction and killing. However, they aren’t aware that they triggered an unprecedented chance for those faithful people to revive in all fields as today after 8th year of war, Yemen turned much stronger.
Although the forces of the coalition of aggression destroyed everything, new production and development projects have risen from ashes to face the siege.
The “Ataa” production factories represent a model of those projects. They were established in June 2020 with no support or huge capitals. They were rather a part of a social initiative that made its first steps by a charitable loan from the “Bonyan Development Institution” and with the support of the agricultural committee in planning and organization.
Yemeni women were the first contributors to establishing these factories. They were in charge of managing, planning, production and marketing. Further, dairy products and natural milk are the main products of “Ataa”, which produce 350 liters equal to 800 boxes of different sizes on a daily basis. In the second place comes the spicy red sauce, as well as different kinds of detergents.
Even though Yemeni factories are still manual, they have been defying the siege imposed by the coalition of aggression, and breaking it. They, likewise, contributed to the employment of dozens of Yemeni men and women and producing high quality local products, despite the spiking prices and the tight economic suffering.
In an interview with Al-Ahed News, the Manager of “Ataa” factories Ashwaq Al-Dimashqi elaborated that “the successes of the project mainly rely on offering an organic product free of preservatives and creating job opportunities, which is an important step in the path to self-sufficiency.”
The factories started selling and promoting their products in the capital, Sanaa, and achieved a significant reach over the two years of their establishment. Moreover, they duly overcame the dilemma of operational expenses and other obstacles. Those in charge of increasing production are working to meet the local needs of such important products, especially nutritional ones such as milk and yogurt.
This organic Yemeni product is highly admired by Yemenis as they are rushing to buy it. For instance, Dimashki told Al-Ahed News: “We are in a phase of building and shifting from small factories to bigger ones, as neither an embargo would exhaust us nor a war would stop us.”
It’s the Yemeni donation and resilience that took advantage to climb on the aggression to excel in all fields.
The Manager of “Ataa” factories concluded her talk with Al-Ahed News by stressing that “Amid the siege and the aggression, women must have their marks, they have to contribute to accomplishing sufficiency and building the national economy, as well as to launch projects motivated by the Martyr Saleh Al-Samad’s quote: ‘There must be a hand to build and another one to protect’.”