“I started working in the strawberry field 11 years ago; I was 16 years old. In the past ten years, I have worked with many producers and in different factories. Now that I know my rights, I do not want to accept a job that doesn’t pay me correctly and doesn’t register me to social security”.
Naima is a single mother of 27, living in north Morocco. She works on night shift for a strawberry industry, so that she can take care of her daughter during the day.
The strawberry sector in Morocco has undergone rapid development over the past 10 years. Women constitute the main labor force in this sector, but their labor rights are rarely respected. Oxfam is working with women workers to help them know and fight for their rights.
“Some men also work on the plantation, but sometimes they are paid more than us. Some of them do exactly the same work as women, so we do not understand why they paid more, and sometimes, they have a different job, like loading and unloading the truck with strawberry boxes, in which cases they are paid more as well; but it is not more difficult than picking the strawberries!”
Some producers openly recognized that women are more hard working than men on their plantation, but they will hardly ever pay them more.”If nobody asks us, why would we do it” a producer told Oxfam.
“One time, one producer asked us to clean, cut the stems and fill in boxes of strawberries to be frozen. After 2 hours I finished one box and they told me it was paid 1dh per box (less than 0.1 €). I left the place. This was too much exploitation.”
Photo: Pablo Tosco/Oxfam
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