A female collective in Somaliland and Chinese street vendors
The incense-producing collective Beeyo Maal, developed by Somaliland women, proves that after years of exploitation, they successfully compete with men in the labour market. Some of the collective’s members previously worked for an allegedly exploitative local company that supplied incense to the US-based dōTERRA essential oil company, which generates more than $2 billion in annual sales. Now, the women of Beeyo Maal sort the frankincense resin themselves – they divide the incense by colour, grade and quality – and are independent of the male-dominated industry. Previously, they did not receive fair pay, worked under challenging conditions and accused their bosses of harassment.
The “street vendor economy” is back in China, with cities like Shenzhen, Shanghai, Hangzhou and Beijing lifting restrictions on market traders and encouraging unemployed youth to open stalls to revive the economy and increase employment. In April this year, the unemployment rate among people aged 16 to 24 living in cities reached 20.4%. Therefore, the authorities encourage people to set up street stalls and carts in marked places where local specialities, snacks, clothes and toys can be sold.
An example of that policy’s success is industrial Zibo, the most popular city in China nowadays for its outdoor grill stalls. The main delicacy is meat skewers grilled over an open fire and charcoal served with bread and spring onion.