Women's Gold: The Shea Butter Makers of Ghana (Video)
For centuries, women in West Africa have been turning shea nuts into butter, known as "women's gold", as it is the only source of income for many families in northern Ghana. However, the biggest threat to their livelihoods is men cutting down the very tree that provides for them. Despite these challenges, a group of women artisans in Ghana, who have been making shea butter for generations, are still standing. In recent decades, global demand for shea butter as a superfood has increased dramatically, making it a global sensation.
But with new demand have come new challenges, including deforestation, competition from bigger companies, and a global pandemic . These challenges have threatened the livelihoods of small-scale shea farmers. However, organizations like Titiaka Boressa are working to combat deforestation and provide training for traditional shea farmers to produce better-quality butter and understand its value in the local market. The story of these women in Ghana is one of perseverance, determination, and hope for the future of traditional shea butter-making.
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Top image: Shea butter making in Ghana. Source: nomadphotographs / Adobe Stock.