When women get divorced or widowed, they usually have a very hard time getting through with all the expenses. Raising their children becomes very difficult and often they fail to provide them and their own selves with the necessary things.
We have seen governments striving to take care of orphans, people with disabilities and old people, but when it comes to divorced and widow women, normally most of the governments don’t do much about them.
In Egypt, in an effort to help the divorced women and widows, the Ministry of Agriculture decided to allocate two new villages. The foundation for the project was laid in 1998 and it is still operational.
The village’s name is Al Samaha located in the city of Edfu, 120 kilometers from the city of Aswan and it is an all-women village.
Currently, 303 women live in the village and no man is allowed to enter the village. The women stay with their children and if any women get married then she has to leave the village.
If they want to meet any of their male relatives, they need to go out of the village to see them. Adult male relatives are not allowed to enter the village.
The women earn through the agricultural land allocated to them which allows them to raise poultry and livestock. Each family (women and children only) is allotted a house and a six-acre plot.
In addition to this, the project founders and international organizations assist the women in various ways. The house is single-story and is funded by the government so that the women can pay them back in easy installments.
Apart from this, the women are also granted various short-term loans. The furniture and agricultural equipment is provided by the project founders. They are also allowed to grow any type of crop that they please, except sugarcane.
In case of violation of this particular law, the woman would not be provided with fertilizer for crops as a penalty. It is indeed a thoughtful step for the women who are the sole earners for their family. The project can be further improved if the concerned authorities are willing to do so.
Having no men around the village might offer an environment which is safe for the women who are helpless, which is why it has been preferred.
These women deserve all the respect because of the way they are willing to work and carry on even after such tragedies in life. With this project, these women no longer need to depend on anyone to raise their children and live their life respectably.
Although it is a good initiative taken by the Egypt government, I don’t think it is an ultimate solution. There would be millions of divorced and widow women in Egypt but only 313 can afford to live in the village.
I think that we need to look for another stable and long-term solution to help these women stand straight on their feet.
Source: Al Arabiya