HerstoryofChange – Jamila’s Story

Jamila Idbourrous is the director of the Union of Argan Women’s Cooperatives. She represents 1200 women argan farmers in the south of Morocco who have united in cooperatives to produce arganoil in a fair and sustainable way.

In 2016, Jamila was one of the winners of the Gender Just Climate Solution Award. This is a yearly event at the UNFCCC Climate Summit , organized by WECF International and the Women & Gender Constituency.

Read Jamila’s Story of Change here 

In Morocco, the differences between rich and poor and between urban and rural areas are large. In the arid and dusty landscapes of the Argan region in southwestern Morocco, the argan tree is a lifeline. The small strip of land stretching between Essaouira and Tiznit is one of the only places in the world where argan trees grow. But the desert is approaching fast, due to climate change. As director of the Union of Argan Women’s Cooperatives, Jamila works there with more than 1200 Berber women from 22 women’s cooperatives. The production of argan oil has supported indigenous Berber women for generations, with ancestral knowledge about nurturing the forest passed down through families. The women make a living from the production of arganoil and process the argan fruits by hand in order to produce the purest oil. Ultimately, the goal of the cooperatives is to control the entire value chain, from argan nuts to cosmetic products.