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Last Updated Thursday June 20 2019 11:47 PM IST

Fish out of water: Algerian woman restaurateur makes living in a man's world

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ALGERIA-RELIGION-RAMADAN-BUSINESS Karima Daikhi, 52, sells her specialty fish food for Iftar (breaking fast) meal during the holy fasting month of Ramadan, at Bouharoun's fishermen's port in the commune of Tipaza Province, Algeria. Photo: Reuters

Bouharoun, Algeria: Haggling with the fishermen in the seaside village of Bouharoun for the produce she serves in her restaurant, Algerian Karima Daikhi is a woman determined to make her way in a man's world.

When her husband was killed by jihadists in 1995, Daikhi had no choice but to enter the growing pool of female wage-earners in a country where, outside the largest cities, women were once expected to stay at home.

Fish out of water: Algerian woman restaurateur makes living in a man's world

"I had to struggle and impose myself. I had no choice. Six children to feed, educate, and take care of," Karima Daikhi told Reuters as she sold fish soup and "bourek", a local speciality of fish wrapped in crispy pastry, at her stall on the quayside.

Daikhi is not alone, in a country where 2,00,000 people were killed in a civil war in the 1990s, leaving countless war widows.

The proportion of women in work was 13.6 per cent in 2015, up from 10.2 per cent a decade earlier, with around 2 million in work compared with 9 million men.

"The men here are also my suppliers, so you definitely must be present in the harbour, where there are no women," the 52-year old said.

Fish out of water: Algerian woman restaurateur makes living in a man's world

Daikhi closes her restaurant during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan and sells her wares from the stall she started with in Bouharoun, a village 50 km (30 miles) west of the capital Algiers that is a tourist spot in summer, with small restaurants selling grilled sardines, squid, shrimps and bourek.

She makes a living, even if tourism remains underdeveloped in a country still reliant on oil and gas for more than 95 percent of its foreign earnings.

Read: Women Business News | Microbiologist opens online dress boutique, now earns Rs 1 lakh a month

The opinions expressed here do not reflect those of Malayala Manorama. Legal action under the IT Act will be taken against those making derogatory and obscene statements.

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