Women of Êlih try to survive economic crisis

Women of Êlih resisting tough living conditions due to the economic crisis earn a living by selling products in a street market. They work in solidarity to overcome tough living conditions.


Êlih (Batman) – Even though women, who work and produce in all spheres of life, face many obstacles, they manage to overcome these obstacles by being in solidarity with each other. About 10 women living in villages struggle to stand on their own feet by selling their handicrafts and dairy products in a street market in the Aydınlıkevler neighborhood of Êlih (Turkish: Batman). While most of them do not like their photograph being taken, so we managed to interview a few of them.

“We have difficulty in buying fodder”

60-year-old Ayşe Barkan sells yoghurt in the street market. Being engaged in animal husbandry, she said that they have difficulty in buying fodder due to rising fodder prices. “We live in the Bağlar neighborhood of Êlih. We wake up before sunrise and milk the cow. Then, I make yoghurt. Everything is very expensive and we try to overcome tough living conditions.”

She sell raisins in the market

55-year-old Kudret Alay lives in the Hesarê village of Êlih. They have vineyards in the village. She dries grapes and sells raisins in the market to earn a living. Speaking about how they dry grapes, she said, “We first wash grapes and then spread them on a tray. We cover them up with a cheesecloth to protect them from ants and insects. We put the tray outside and leave them there for three or four days. When the grapes are completely dried, we store them in a clean glass jar or metal container.”

“I work to earn a living”

Stating that women make more efforts in harvesting and making grape products, Kudret Alay said, “Women work in every part of grape production. I work to earn a living. I come to the market at 6 am to sell raisins. I have nine children. My husband also works. I work to stand on my own feet,” she told us.

“Women and men work in solidarity”

A 38-year-old woman, who sold green beans in the market and did not want to be named, told us that she grows vegetables in the Beşevler neighborhood of Êlih. “Women and men work in solidarity to grow vegetables such as green beans, cucumbers and okra. We start planting green beans in July. After collecting them, we bring them to the market in order to sell them. I come to the market at 6 am and leave in the afternoon. We plant spinach and green onions.

“I struggle to survive”

“In autumn, people buy green beans for canning them so we sell green beans in autumn. I have five children and my husband does not work now. My husband was a cook but he had to leave because of his health problems. I have to pay rent. I have to struggle to survive because everything is very expensive.”