Role of Women in Sector Takes Center Stage at World Olive Day

Celebrated at the International Olive Council’s headquarters in Madrid, the event spotlighted the role women play in the olive sector.
World Olive Day 2023 at the International Olive Council
By Ylenia Granitto
Dec. 12, 2023 16:35 UTC

This year’s edi­tion of World Olive Day high­lighted the vital role of women in the olive oil sec­tor across the pro­duc­tion chain, from groves to tables.

Officially rec­og­nized in 2019 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), World Olive Tree Day, or World Olive Day, takes place each year on November 26th.

However, this year’s cel­e­bra­tion was held on November 23rd at the head­quar­ters of the International Olive Council (IOC) in Madrid as part of the 118th ses­sion of its Council of Members.

See Also:Jaime Lillo Appointed Olive Council Executive Director

Jointly orga­nized by the IOC and the International Center for Advanced Mediterranean Studies (CIHEAM), the event saw the col­lab­o­ra­tion of sev­eral women’s asso­ci­a­tions across the globe, includ­ing Women in Olive Oil, Pandolea, Donne dell’Olio and the Arab and Jordanian Olive Oil Women’s Network and the Women & Olives LatAm Network.

The IOC wel­comed rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the women’s groups, the diplo­matic corps in Madrid, the heads of del­e­ga­tion and offi­cials from the IOC’s Council of Members.

I con­grat­u­late the pres­i­dents and the mem­bers of the wom­en’s net­works for all the efforts made in real­iz­ing this excel­lent ini­tia­tive, which should cer­tainly be con­sol­i­dated and per­pet­u­ated,” Imene Trabelsi Trigui, the head of the IOC’s pro­mo­tion depart­ment, told Olive Oil Times.

Women have always been deeply involved in man­ag­ing the olive oil value chain. Today, they are farm­ers, tasters, pro­duc­ers, chefs, researchers, teach­ers and experts in var­i­ous fields directly or indi­rectly linked to the olive oil sec­tor,” she added. Thanks to their knowl­edge and expe­ri­ence, they play a cru­cial role in devel­op­ing this impor­tant field and sig­nif­i­cantly impact cur­rent and future gen­er­a­tions.”

The work of these women effec­tively con­tributes to build­ing a dynamic olive sec­tor,” Trabelsi Trigu con­tin­ued. They are com­mit­ted at regional, national lev­els and inter­na­tional lev­els to shar­ing their expe­ri­ences of best prac­tices in pro­duc­ing qual­ity olive oil, spread­ing the ben­e­fits of the Mediterranean diet of which olive oil is a fun­da­men­tal part, as well as rais­ing aware­ness of the var­i­ous uses of olive oil while pre­serv­ing its his­tor­i­cal and cul­tural her­itage and con­tribut­ing to sus­tain­able devel­op­ment prac­tices.”

Gender equal­ity and women’s empow­er­ment are pre­req­ui­sites for sus­tain­able devel­op­ment, accord­ing to the 2022 gen­der equal­ity in the Mediterranean region report from CIHEAM.

In agri­cul­ture, women rep­re­sent 43 per­cent of the global work­force, play­ing an essen­tial role in ensur­ing food secu­rity. While they accom­plish many cru­cial tasks, the mul­ti­ple roles and respon­si­bil­i­ties of women active in rural com­mu­ni­ties are often not well rec­og­nized.

By pro­mot­ing equal rights and the shar­ing of resources and respon­si­bil­i­ties between women and men, gen­der equal­ity is not only a fun­da­men­tal human right but also a key­stone of a pros­per­ous econ­omy that fos­ters sus­tain­able and inclu­sive growth.

The aim of the IOC is that the World Olive Day event and the exam­ple set by the asso­ci­a­tions involved may inspire women from all of its mem­ber coun­tries to estab­lish female-led net­works, which will help to rein­force the impor­tance of their invalu­able work in the olive oil sec­tor.

Several activ­i­ties were sched­uled for the World Olive Day cel­e­bra­tion, includ­ing a tast­ing of tra­di­tional olive oil dishes from around the world and videos high­light­ing the diver­sity of women’s roles in the sec­tor. The IOC and CIHEAM also announced the win­ners of an inter­na­tional graphic art­work com­pe­ti­tion.

The event, which cul­mi­nated in the read­ing and sign­ing of a man­i­festo for greater aware­ness and recog­ni­tion of the role of women in the olive oil sec­tor, was led by Emmanuelle Dechelette, founder of Olio Nuovo Days, who announced the speeches by the rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the asso­ci­a­tions.

Among these were Jill Myers, founder of Women in Olive Oil; Nehaya Almuhaisin, founder of the Arab Olive Oil Women’s Network; Loriana Abbruzzetti, pres­i­dent of Pandolea; Mariagrazia Bertaroli, direc­tor of Donne dell’Olio; and Laura Blanco, founder of Women and Olives LATAM.

They all expressed their com­mit­ment to pur­su­ing, with the strength of their visions and skills, the pur­poses and aims set out dur­ing World Olive Day.


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